SC Dismisses Bilkis Bano’s Plea Challenging Order That Let Guj Govt Release 11 Convicts Early

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Saturday dismissed the review petition filed by Bilkis Bano seeking a review of the May 2022 order asking the Gujarat Government to consider remission pleas of 11 convicts in the gangrape case

In May 2022, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Ajay Rastogi and Vikram Nath stated that the Gujarat Government had the jurisdiction to consider the remission request as the offence took place in Gujarat. The bench then directed the Gujarat Government to decide the application as per the remission policy of 1992 within a period of two months.

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Previously, the Gujarat High Court had held that the remission was to be considered by the State of Maharashtra, as the trial was held in Mumbai, upon transfer from Gujarat.

According to a report by Live Law, Bilkis, through Advocate Shobha Gupta, had sought a review of the judgment by primarily contending that it was contrary to the clear language of Section Section 432(7)(b) of CrPC which states that the appropriate government to decide remission is the government of the State where the trial was held.

It was mentioned that the Supreme Court passed the judgment in a writ petition filed by one of the convicts.

The apex court allowed the writ petition and set aside the judgment of the Gujarat High Court that ordered remission to be decided by the Maharashtra Government. No special leave petition was filed challenging the High Court judgment and Bilkis contended that the SC order amounted to a grave procedural irregularity, as a judgment cannot be set aside under Article 32 of the Constitution, Live Law reported.

Bilkas further stressed that the convict had “cleverly suppressed” the fact that the case related to the Gujarat riots.

It was stated that neither Bilkis was made a party nor her name was mentioned in the petition. Hence, in the review petition, she contended that the gravity and seriousness of the crime were suppressed from the apex court and the bench was misled into passing the order, as per the report.

Bilkis Bano has filed another writ petition challenging the decision of the Gujarat Government to allow the premature release of the 11 convicts. 

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