Bilkis Bano's Rapists' Release Cancelled: What Supreme Court Said

Bilkis Bano Case Verdict: The bench said that Supreme Court order dated May 2022 was obtained through fraudulent means and suspension of facts.

New Delhi: Bilkis Bano Case Verdict: The Supreme Court today overturned the Gujarat government's decision to release the 11 convicts who raped Bilkis Bano and killed her family during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Here are the top observations from the Supreme Court verdict in Bilkis Bano case:

  1. Holding Bilkis Bano's request challenging the remission as maintainable, a bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan said the Gujarat government was not the appropriate government to pass the remission order as the trial was held in Maharashtra.

  2. Gujarat government should have filed a plea seeking review of the 2022 order stating they aren't the competent government.

  3. "The exemption order lacks competence," the Supreme Court said. Criminals can be released only by the state where they are tried, the court said.

  4. The Supreme Court said, "The rule of law must be preserved unmindful of the ripples of the consequences."

  5. The court said that the victim's rights are important and that women deserve respect. "A woman deserves respect howsoever high or low she may otherwise be considered in society or to whatever faith she may follow or whatever creed she she may belong to. Can heinous crimes against women permit remission? These are the issue which arise," Justice Nagarathna said.

  6. The Supreme Court came down heavily against its own judgment in May 2022, delivered by Justice Ajay Rastogi (retired), which allowed the convicts to appeal for their early remission before the Gujarat government.

  7. The bench said that Supreme Court order dated May 2022 was obtained through fraudulent means and suspension of facts.

  8. "By suppressing material facts and making misleading facts, a direction was sought by a convict to the state of Gujarat to consider remission. There was no direction from this court to the Gujarat government to consider remission. This is a fraud act," the bench said.

  9. While hearing the matter in September last year, the top court had asked whether convicts have a fundamental right to seek remission.

  10. During the earlier arguments, the court had observed that state governments should not be selective in granting remission to convicts and the opportunity to reform and reintegrate with society should extend to every prisoner.

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