SC Overturns Gujarat Govt's Remission for Bilkis Bano Case Convicts
SC Overturns Gujarat Govt's Remission for Bilkis Bano Case Convicts

The Supreme Court quashed the decision made by the Gujarat government regarding the release of 11 individuals convicted for the heinous crimes against Bilkis Bano and her family during the 2002 communal riots in the state. The court ruled against the remission granted to these convicts, emphasizing that the previous order to grant remission was obtained by concealing facts and manipulating the court, as per reports.

The bench, comprised of Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan, declared the Gujarat government's decision to grant remission to the 11 men null and void. These men had been released on August 15, 2022, coinciding with India's 75th Independence Day, following their conviction and life imprisonment for gang-raping Bilkis Bano and murdering 14 members of her family.

During the proceedings, Bano's counsel, Shobha Gupta, urged the Supreme Court to send the convicts back to jail due to the extreme brutality of their crimes. However, Justice Nagarathna highlighted that one of the convicts argued in favor of remission, citing the opportunity for rehabilitation and reintegration into society as per certain judgments.

The bench, after reserving its judgment on October 12, had instructed the Centre and the state government to provide original records related to the remission of the convicts' sentences. The court's decision aims to balance the interests of justice and the potential for the convicts' reform while addressing the severity of the crimes committed.

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