‘Very Irritating’, SC to Bilkis Bano Counsel on Frequent Mentioning of Plea Against Convicts


NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Wednesday told the counsel, representing Bilkis Bano, that the plea for urgent listing should not be mentioned frequently, saying “it is very irritating”.

Bano had moved the apex court against the release of 11 convicts in a case of gang-rape and murder of her family members during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Advocate Shobha Gupta, representing Bilkis Bano, submitted before a bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud the writ petition was listed on Tuesday but it was not taken up.

The bench told the counsel that the writ petition will be listed and added, “Don’t keep mentioning the same thing again and again. It is very irritating”. It further emphasised that the matter will be listed and asked the counsel to avoid mentioning the matter frequently.

On Tuesday, Justice Bela M. Trivedi, sitting on a bench led by Justice Ajay Rastogi, had recused from the hearing petition by Bilkis. The matter as a consequence would be posted before another bench.

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 much talked about case of Bilkis Bano, has shaken conscience of the society and resulted in a number of agitations across the country.

The plea contended that the 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 had also filed a review petition against the May 13, 2022 order by the Supreme Court, which allowed the Gujarat government to consider remission plea by one of the convicts in terms of 1992 policy. The state government in August, decided to release all the 11 convicts, undergoing life term, on remission. A clutch of petitions has been filed challenging the state government’s decision. – IANS


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