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Supreme Court questions Bilkis Bano rapists' release, seeks files related to remission

Supreme Court questions Bilkis Bano rapists release, seeks files related to remission

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has questioned the release of convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case. The bench on March 27, 2023, sought files on the remission after Bano approached the top court challenging the "premature" release of the 11 convicts by the Gujarat government.

She filed a plea in November 2022 and said the remission of their sentence has "shaken the conscience of society".

A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna said that the state government should have considered the gravity of the offence. Seven members of Bano's family, including her three-year-old daughter, were also murdered in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

"A pregnant woman was gang-raped and several people were killed. You cannot compare the victim's case with standard Section 302 (murder of Indian Penal Code) cases. Like you cannot compare apples with oranges, similarly massacre cannot be compared with a single murder. Crimes are generally committed against society and the community. Unequals cannot be treated equally," said the court.

"The question is whether the government applied its mind and what material formed the basis of its decision to grant remission. Today it is Bilkis but tomorrow it can be anyone. It may be you or me. If you do not show your reasons for grant of remission, then we will draw our own conclusions," added the court.

The Gujarat government has cited "privilege" and said that it does not want to produce the documents connected with the remission of the convicts. The Centre is also likely to challenge the top court's order.

The Supreme Court will be hearing a set of requests challenging the remission on May 2.

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TAGS:Gujarat governmentBilkis Bano Case
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