The Supreme Court directed the Gujarat government to submit their response to a petition challenging the remission of the 11 convicts in Bilkis Bano case on Thursday.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana directed the petitioners to implead the convicts who have been granted remission as parties in the matter. The matter will be heard after two weeks.
Earlier on August 23, the bench agreed to hear the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that challenged the remission.
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.