Challenge to early release of convicts in Bilkis Bano rape case: LIVE UPDATES from Supreme Court

A bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan will deliver the verdict in the batch of petitions challenging the early release of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case.
Bilkis Bano case
Bilkis Bano case

The Supreme Court of India will deliver its verdict in the petitions challenging the early release of men convicted for the gang rape of Bilkis Bano during the 2022 Gujarat riots.

A bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan will deliver the verdict in the batch of petitions challenging the remission granted to the convicts.

The top court had reserved the matter for judgment on October 12, 2023.

The case concerns the early release of 11 convicts who had gang raped Bano and murdered her family members during the riots.

The Gujarat government had granted a remission of their sentence following a May 2022 judgment in which the top court held that an application of remission should be considered in line with the policy of the State where the crime was committed (Gujarat, in this case) and not where the trial was held.

Pursuant to that judgment, the Gujarat government had applied its remission policy to release the convicts though the trial in the case had taken place in Maharashtra.

The name of 11 convicts who were set free are Jaswant Nai, Govind Nai, Shailesh Bhatt, Radhyesham Shah, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohania, Pradeep Mordhiya, Bakabhai Vohania, Rajubhai Soni, Mitesh Bhatt and Ramesh Chandana.

Gujarat Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Raj Kumar reportedly said that the convicts were released due to the “completion of 14 years” in jail and other factors such as “age, nature of the crime, behaviour in prison and so on."

The Gujarat government's decision was challenged by various petitioners including Bano before the top court.

Live updates from the judgment pronouncement feature here.

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