The Gujarat government has told the Supreme Court that it decided to release all the eleven convicts in Bilkis Bano gang rape case as per a 1992 remission policy since they completed more than 14 years in prison and their behaviour was found to be good. .In an affidavit filed before the top court on Monday, the State government said that it considered all the opinions as required under the 1992 remission policy and decided to release 11 prisoners.The government also clarified that the convicts were not released as part of the 75th Independence celebrations - Azadi ka Amri Mahotsav."State of Gujarat has considered the cases of all 11 prisoners as per the policy of 1992 and remission was granted on August 10, 2022. It is important to note that the remission was not granted under the circular governing grant of remission to prisoners as part of celebration of Azadi ka Amrit mahotsav," the affidavit said..The affidavit was filed in response to a plea challenging the remission granted to 11 convicts who had gangraped Bilkis Bano and murdered her family members during the 2002 Godhra riots.The 11 convicts who have been 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.The petition before the top court was filed by CPI(M) leader Subhasini Ali, independent journalist and filmmaker Revati Laul and former philosophy professor and activist Roop Rekh Varma.The Supreme Court had, on August 25, sought the response of the Gujarat government and the 11 convicts to the plea..In its affidavit, the Gujarat government also assailed the locus of the petitioners stating that they are third parties to the case and a stranger cannot question a remission order passed by a competent authority.."Like a third party stranger either under the provisions of the code or under any other statute is precluded to question the correctness of grant or refusal of sanction for prosecution or the conviction and sentence imposed by the court after a regular trial, similarly a third party stranger is precluded from questioning a remission order passed by the state government which is strictly in accordance with the law," the affidavit stated. The State, therefore, submitted that the petition is a misuse of public interest litigation jurisdiction of the supreme court"It is the bonafide belief of the state government that the present petition is nothing but an abuse of PIL jurisdiction of the supreme court the petitioner has nowhere in the entire petition has stated how her fundamental rights has been violated and as to how she is aggrieved by the action of the state government," the reply stated..It also said that the Gujarat government considered the opinions of the Inspector General of Prisons, Gujarat State Jail Superintendent, Jail Advisory Committee, District magistrate, Police superintendent, CBI Special Crime Branch Mumbai and Session Court Mumbai CBI branch, and thus the opinion of seven authorities were considered.Pertinently, the affidavit highlighted that the Union Home Ministry had approved the premature release of all the eleven convicts after the Gujarat home department had sought the Union government's consent. .Earlier, one of the convicts too had opposed the plea before the Supreme Court challenging remission of his life sentence.Convict Radheysham Bhagwandas Shah had told the Supreme Court that the remission was in accordance with the Supreme Court dated May 13, 2022."This Hon'ble Court while considering the fact that the conviction in this present case by the Trial Court had occurred in the year 2008 and by that time the State of Gujarat’s premature policy dated July 9, 1992 was in operation, the State Government was directed to consider the application for premature release in terms of the policy dated July 9, 1992," the counter-affidavit filed by Shah said.