The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the Gujarat government’s response to a plea to challenge pardon for the 11 convicted in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case was cumbersome, in which a series of sentences has been cited but lacks actual claims.
The Supreme Court has given the plaintiffs time to file a response to the Gujarat government’s affidavit and said it will hear on November 29 the petitions challenging the conviction and release. those convicted in the 2002 case were also implicated in the murder of seven members of her family. during the Gujarat riots.
“I didn’t see the affidavit where a bunch of judgments were quoted. A factual statement that should have been made. A very cumbersome counter. What is the factual statement, what is the application of think?” observe a bench headed by Justice Ajay Rastogi.
The panel, which also includes Justice CT Ravikumar, directed that the answer submitted by the Gujarat government be made available to all parties.
CPI (M) Senior Leader Subhashini Ali and two other women filed a PIL against their sentencing and release.
From the outset, senior campaigner Kapil Sibal, appearing for the petitioners, filed that he needed time to file a response.
Justice Rastogi commented that even before he could consider the reply of the Gujarat government, it appeared in the newspapers.
Speaking before Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Judge Rastogi said he had not been able to see the affidavit of protest where a series of convictions had been cited.
Mr. Mehta agrees with the observation and says it can be avoided. “The rulings were mentioned for ease of reference, it could have been avoided,” Mr. Mehta said.
The Solicitor General has filed strangers and third parties unable to bring challenges to the expungement and release of convicts.
The Supreme Court then set aside time for the petitioners and brought the matter to trial on November 29.
On Monday, the Gujarat government defended the Supreme Court’s decision to release those convicted under the 1992 amnesty policy because they had served more than 14 years in prison and their conduct was allowed. good.
It also clarifies convicts not receiving parole in accordance with the circular on pardoning prisoners as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebration.
The state Department of Home Affairs said all of the convicts had finished serving more than 14 years in prison under life sentences.
“Comments from the concerned authorities were collected in accordance with the policy dated 9 July 1992 and submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, emailed June 28, 2022, and found seek India’s proper approval/order,” the affidavit stated.
The Government of Gujarat has told the highest court that the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has approved the early release of the 11 July 2022 crime video letter.
The reply also revealed that the proposal for early release of convicts was opposed by the Chief of Police, CBI, Special Crimes Branch, Mumbai and the Special Civil Judge (CBI), Court Civil and Municipal Trials, Greater Bombay.
Bilkis Bano was 21 years old and five months pregnant when she was gang raped while fleeing riots that erupted after the burning of the Godhra train. Her three-year-old daughter was among seven family members killed.
The 11 men convicted in the case were released from the Godhra sub-prison on August 15 after the Gujarat government authorized their release under their amnesty policy.
The 11 convicts who were released early were Jaswantbhai Nai, Govindbhai Nai, Shailesh Bhatt, Radheshyam Shah, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohania, Pradeep Mordhiya, Bakabhai Vohania, Rajubhai Soni, Mitesh Bhatt and Ramesh Chandana.
The investigation in the case has been entrusted to the CBI and the trial has been transferred to a Maharashtra court by the Supreme Court.
On January 21, 2008, a CBI special court in Mumbai sentenced 11 people to life in prison for the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of 7 members of her family.
Their conviction was later upheld by the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court.
The state government submitted a response to the PIL submitted by CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali, Revati Laul, an independent journalist, and Roop Rekha Verma, former vice chancellor of Lucknow University.
The Gujarat government affidavit states that, “A clear examination of the cases in which the present petition is filed shows that the petitioner is not the victim but merely an interventionist, who invoked Article 32 of the jurisdiction conferred upon this court under the Constitution of India. , for unrelated purposes”.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s 1976 ruling, the state government said a aggrieved person must be a person with a personal and individual right in the matter and that there was a violation of said legal right or method of doing so. prejudicial to any legitimate interest.
The affidavit notes that the petitioner is a “stranger of a third party”, with no basis to object to a waiver passed by a competent authority under applicable law in an immediate case under the “order of PIL”.
The state government has said it firmly believes the current petition is nothing more than an abuse of this court’s PIL jurisdiction and is motivated by “political conspiracies and conspiracies”.
On September 25, convict Radhey Shyam also questioned the position of the petitioners challenging the pardon for him and 10 other defendants in the case, saying they were ” complete strangers” in this regard.
On August 25, the highest court sought a response from the Center and the Gujarat government to a request for a pardon granted to the 11 defendants in the case.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)