Bilkis Bano case: Plea filed by victim against remission granted to convicts maintainable, says SC

Bilkis Bano case: Plea filed by victim against remission granted to convicts maintainable, says SC

New Delhi, Jan 8: The Supreme Court on Monday held that the petition filed by 2002 Gujarat riots victim Bilkis Bano against the premature release of 11 persons convicted of her gang-rape and murder of her family members is maintainable.

Pronouncing the verdict, Justice B.V. Nagarathna-led bench said, “On the point of maintenance of the petition filed by the petitioner (Bilkis Bano) under Article 32 of the Constitution, we have held — it is clearly maintainable.”

The bench, also comprising Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, said that it is not necessary for the apex court to decide the question of maintainability of the public interest litigations (PILs) filed against the Gujarat government’s decision to prematurely release 11 convicts under the state’s remission policy on August 15, 2022.

“We do not think it necessary to answer the point regarding maintainability of PILs in this case…..Therefore, the question regarding maintainability of PIL challenging orders of remission is kept open to be considered in any other appropriate case,” the top court held.

During the hearing, the Centre, Gujarat government, and convicts had opposed the PILs filed by CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali, Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra, the National Federation of Indian Women, Asma Shafique Shaikh and others against the remission orders, saying that once victim herself has approached the court, others may not be allowed to intervene in a criminal matter.

More details are awaited as the top court is pronouncing its verdict in the case.–(IANS)

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