Bilkis Bano Case: SC Seeks Remission Reports on Petition Filed by TMC MP Mahua Moitra

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: September 11, 2022 at 17:47 IST

The premature release of 11 convicts or remission by the Gujarat government in the Bilkis Bano case for gangrape and murder was challenged in petitions filed by TMC MP Mahua Moitra and others, and the Supreme Court of India gave notice in those cases.

Advocate Rishi Malhotra appeared for one of the convicts before Justices Ajay Rastogi and BV Nagarathna’s bench, stating that the impleading petition was only submitted yesterday.

“They didn’t comply with your lord’s command to implead us”, they said.

“However, why did you move for adjournment?”, the bench immediately questioned.

He retorted, “They have to implicate you.”

The court questioned whether notice must be given in the second matter if it is a comparable petition arising out of the same cause of action as the first as the case went along.

At this point, Malhotra argued that individuals with a single location were filing many petitions.

“I oppose the impeachment process. Furthermore, they lack locus. They are only increasing the number of petitions and applications in each case.”

Justice Nagarathna emphasized that decisions on topics cannot be made without giving notice.

The court then gave Malhotra notice of the matter and instructed him to follow any instructions if he was to represent the other convicts as well.

The Gujarat state and him must both receive copies of the petition, the court further ordered the petitioners. The state administration was also told by the bench to record all pertinent papers, including the remission order.

The court gave the prisoners two weeks to file a counter affidavit and the petitioners one week to file a response.

Currently, there are two petitions opposing the state government’s decision to commute the life sentences of individuals who were convicted of gangraping Bilkis Bano and killing her family members during the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

The first was submitted through Attorney Aparna Bhat by CPI(M) MP Subhashini Ali, writer Revati Laul, and professor Roop Rekha Verma.

As per the Supreme Court’s instructions, the CBI was given the inquiry. The Maharashtra Court also moved the trial. The penalties were handed down in the case in 2008 by a sessions court in Mumbai.

In accordance with the Gujarat government’s decision to offer them remission after serving their 14-year sentences, the 11 convicts were freed from prison on August 15.

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