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Bilkis Bano Rape Case: Special SC bench to be constituted over release of convicts

New Delhi: Chief Justice DY Chandrachud has stated that a special bench will be constituted by the Supreme Court to hear the pleas challenging the premature release of 11 convicts by the Gujarat government in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case. “I will have a bench constituted. Will look at it this evening,” CJI Chandrachud […]

Edited By : Prateek Gautam | Updated: Mar 27, 2023 13:22 IST
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New Delhi: Chief Justice DY Chandrachud has stated that a special bench will be constituted by the Supreme Court to hear the pleas challenging the premature release of 11 convicts by the Gujarat government in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case.

“I will have a bench constituted. Will look at it this evening,” CJI Chandrachud said. The matter came up before a three-judge bench of CJI Chandrachud, Justice P.S. Narsimha, and Justice J.B. Pardiwala on Wednesday, March 22.

Shobha Gupta, Bilkis Bano’s counsel, had told the court that the matter had been mentioned before the apex court four times earlier but did not come up for hearing. It was supposed to come up before the top court on January 24, but it wasn’t taken up as the judges expected to hear the matter was caught up in another hearing on a constitutional matter on the same day. Even last month, CJI Chandrachud had promised that a special bench would hear Bano’s case.

In May 2022, a bench led by Justice Ajay Rastogi allowed the Gujarat government to take a call on the remission requests made by the convicts, stating that the offence took place in Gujarat. Following this, on August 15, 2022, the convicts were released prematurely by the Gujarat government, leading to a huge backlash against the decision. Bilkis Bano moved to the SC in December 2022 seeking a review of the Gujarat government’s decision, which is now under consideration.

Bano was gang-raped in Gujarat’s Randhikpur village and seven members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter, were killed on March 3, 2002, during the riots that broke out after the Godhra train-burning incident. She was 21 years old and five months pregnant at the time.

First published on: Mar 23, 2023 12:52 PM IST

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