Supreme Court Quashes Controversial Remission of Bilkis Bano Case Convicts

Bilkis Bano
Bilkis Bano

New Delhi- The Supreme Court on Monday dealt a massive blow to the Gujarat government by quashing the remission of 11 convicts in the horrific Bilkis Bano gangrape and murder of seven people in her family. The court said that the Gujarat government had no jurisdiction to entertain the application for remission or pass the orders as it is the state within whose jurisdiction the accused were sentenced and not the state whose territory the offence was committed or the accused were imprisoned. The court noted that the Gujarat usurped the power vested in Maharashtra to pass orders of remission.

The judgement delivered by the bench of Justice B V Nagarathan and Ujjal Bhuyan observed that the May 2022 order directing Gujarat government to decide the remission was secured by suppressing facts. The court upbraided the Gujarat government as it remarked “The State of Gujarat acted in complicit with the was this very apprehension that led this court to transfer the trial out of the state".

11 Convicts Released on August 15, 2022

The release of the convicts came after Radheyshyam Shah, one of the accused sentenced to life imprisonment in the case approached the Supreme Court on completing 15 years and four months in jail. The Gujarat government released the 11 convicts on August 15, 2022 in the Bilkis Bano case under its 1992 remission and premature release policy.

Consequently 11 of the convicts - Jaswant Nai, Govind Nai, Shailesh Bhatt, Radhyesham Shah, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohania, Pradeep Mordhiya, Bakabhai Vohania, Rajubhai Soni, Mitesh Bhatt and Ramesh Chandana were released.

The release of the convicts had created a lot of uproar as the accused were brazenly felicitated at various events in Gujarat. The accused were also seen sharing stage with BJP MPs. There were reports of Muslim community members in the native village of Bilkis bano near Ahmedabad were forced to leave the village after the 11 convicts walked out of Jail on 15th August 2022.

“Order of the Court used to violate the rule of law”

The release of the convicts was seen as an example of blatant violation of rules by the state government to support the accused of a heinous crime.

The Apex Court said, “This is a classic case where the order of this court was used to violate the rule of law by granting remission".

In the Bilkis Bano case, which became the microcosm of 2002 Post-Godhara Gujarat riots Bilkis, a five-month pregnant Muslim woman was gangraped by rioters and seven of her family members, including her three-month-old child was killed on 3 March 2002 after riots broke out after Godhara Train-burning incident.

Bilkis Bano
Mission Save Constitution Prepares for Nationwide EVM Strike Starting January 13
Bilkis Bano
'Indira Rasoi' Become 'Shri Annapurna' Again but Meet Precarious Fate Amid Unpaid Subsidies-A Ground Report
Bilkis Bano
Brutal Assault on Dalit Journalist: Fuel Pump Owner, Accomplices Attack After Complaint of Shortchanging

You can also join our WhatsApp group to get premium and selected news of The Mooknayak on WhatsApp. Click here to join the WhatsApp group.

The Mooknayak English - Voice Of The Voiceless