Bilqis Bano Rapist Gets 5-Day Parole Due to Death of Father-in-Law 

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Initially, Pradeep Modhiya sought a month’s parole. But Judge M.R. Mengdey granted only five days conditional liberty to him, during which the convict ventured to his native village of Randhekpur in Dahod district.

Team Clarion

GANDHINAGAR – In a concerning development, a convict in the Bilqis Bano gang-rape case was granted a five-day parole on Friday. 

The Gujarat High Court’s granting of parole to Pradeep Modhiya came less than three weeks after all the 11 convicts surrendered to jail authorities in Godhra on January 21. Their return to jail followed the Supreme Court’s  January 8 order.

Initially, Modhiya sought a month’s parole due to the demise of his father-in-law. But Judge M.R. Mengdey granted only five days conditional liberty to him, during which the convict ventured to his native village of Randhekpur in Dahod district.

“The Gujarat High Court has given a five-day parole to one convict Pradip Modhiya due to the death of his father-in-law. This is between the court and jail as they are in judicial custody,” media reports quoted Visakha Jain, Superintendent of Police of Dahod district, as saying.

“He does not have to report to the police,” she said.

The Supreme Court last month quashed the remission of sentence of all 11 convicts in the 2002 post-Godhra riot case of gangrape of Gujarat woman Bilqis Bano and murder of her seven relatives.

In August 2022, the 11 convicts, serving a life sentence, were granted premature release from jail after the Gujarat government accepted their remission applications in accordance with its 1992 policy, citing their ‘good conduct’ during imprisonment. 

The convicts hail from Singvad and Randhikpur villages under Singvad taluka of Dahod district neighbouring Panchmahal district, where Godhra is located.

The top court had annulled the remission the Gujarat government had granted to the convicts while slamming the state for being “complicit” with an accused and abusing its discretion.

The apex court then ordered the convicts, who were released from Godhra district jail on Independence Day in 2022 after being in prison for 14 years, to go back to jail within two weeks. Quashing the remission order, the Supreme Court had ruled that the Gujarat government lacked jurisdiction to grant premature release to the convicts as the trial in the 2002 case had been held in Maharashtra.

The court’s decision to grant parole to Modhiya  has raised eyebrows, prompting concerns over the effective enforcement of parole regulations and the accountability of convicts during such sanctioned leaves. Authorities are closely monitoring the situation to ensure adherence to legal procedures and the prompt return of Modhiya to jail after the expiry of the parole period.

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