The Supreme Court agreed to hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the remission of the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case on Tuesday.
According to reports, a bench that was headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana asked the advocates if the release was on the basis of an order passed by the apex court.
The advocates Kapil Sibal and Aparna Bhat, who mentioned the petition in the court, said the petitioner is not questioning the SC’s order however, seeking to know the basis on which remission was granted to the 11 convicts during the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
The SC was informed a bench headed by Justice Ajay Rastogi permitted the Gujarat government to apply for the remission policy existing at the time of conviction of the accused in 2008.
The CJI agreed to look into the matter and that the PIL will be listed shortly before an appropriate bench.
The petition was filed by the members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Subhashini Ali, journalist Revati Laul, and social activist and professor Roop Rekha Verma.
All 11 convicts in the case were released from the Godhra sub-jail after the Gujarat government allowed it under its remission policy on August 15.
The accused in the matter had been sentenced to life imprisonment by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai in 2008. They had been charged with the gang rape of Bano and the murder of seven members of her family. Their conviction was upheld by the Bombay High Court later.
It may be noted that on March 3, 2002, Bilkis Bano’s family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village in Limkheda taluka of Dahod district during the post-Gujarat riots. Bano was five months pregnant at the time and was subjected to gang rape, while seven members of her family were killed in front of her.