Bilkis Bano case: SC judge recuses from hearing plea against release of convicts

Bilkis Bano case: SC judge recuses from hearing plea against release of convicts
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New Delhi, Dec 13: A Supreme Court judge, Justice Bela M. Trivedi, on Tuesday recused from hearing the petition filed by Bilkis Bano against the release of 11 men convicted of gang-raping her in the 2002 Gujarat riots, and also accused of murdering her family members.

The matter was listed before a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela Trivedi. Justice Trivedi chose to recuse from the case. In the plea, Bano said release of all the convicts came as a shock.

The petition, filed through advocate Shobha Gupta, said: “The premature release of all the convicts came as a shock not only to the petitioner, to her grown up daughters, to her family, but also to the society at large, nationally and internationally, and the society across segments had shown their anger, disappointment, distrust and protest to the clemency shown by the government by releasing criminals like the 11 convicts of the case.”

Terming the release order mechanical, the plea said the en masse premature release of the convicts in the much talked about case of Bilkis Bano, has shaken the conscience of the society and resulted in a number of agitations across the country.

The plea contended that shocking news of premature release of all the convicts, including the writ petitioner, was revealed to the present petitioner and public at large when the convicts were honoured and photographed in full public glare.

Bilkis Bano said she was “extremely-extremely” hurt, disturbed, and full of dejection with the early release and sudden and traumatising presence and existence of 11 of her rapists who brutally gang-raped her while she was five months pregnant and inflicted on her person and soul extreme level of violence and brutality.

Bano has also separately filed a review petition against challenging the May 13 judgment of the apex court, saying that Maharashtra’s remission policy should be applied in the present case instead of 1992 remission policy of Gujarat since the trial had happened in Maharashtra.

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