MP Mahua Filed PIL Before SC Challenging Gujarat Govt’s Decision for Premature Release of Convicts in Bilkis Bano Case

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: 23rd August 2022 at 17:56 IST

Mahua Motitra, a TMC member, filed a petition with the Supreme Court to contest Gujarat’s decision to pardon all 11 of the Bilkis Bano case’s defendants.

The public interest litigation claims that the victim has reasonable concerns for the protection of her and her family members. It was filed through Advocate Shadan Farasat.

It reads, “The release does not constitute a legal exercise of the guided discretionary power of the state under section 432-435 CrPC and entirely fails to enhance either social or human justice.”

According to the PIL, the CBI conducted an investigation into the matter, granting the Gujarati government the authority to give a remission or premature release in accordance with Section 432 CrPC without the express permission of the federal government.

It further states that the premature release of all 11 convicts on the same date shows that the state governments automatically gave “wholesale” parole without carefully weighing the merits of each individual case.

This invalidates the entire process of providing remission and directly contravenes the rulings in Maru Ram v. Union of India, 1980 AIR SC 2147, and Sangeet v. State of Haryana, (2013) 2SCC 452 of this honourable court.

The top court had ruled in Maru Ram (supra) that the exercise of remission powers under the CrPC must “embrace reason, relevance, and reformation” because determining whether a criminal has undergone reformation is a uniquely personal and case-by-case process.

So as to channel the use of discretion and, if necessary, avoid its abuse, Moitra has urged the court to establish standards for the grant of remission. She has also worked to ensure that the state government applies the laws governing remission in an equal manner.

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