Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Bilkis Bano Gang Rape Case: 11 Convicts Sentenced To Life Imprisonment Released Under Gujarat Govt's Remission Policy

Sparsh Upadhyay
16 Aug 2022 4:58 AM GMT
Bilkis Bano Gang Rape Case: 11 Convicts Sentenced To Life Imprisonment Released Under Gujarat Govts Remission Policy
x

11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang rape case of Gujarat were released on Monday from a Godhra jail under the Gujarat government's remission policy, The Indian Express has reported. Bano was gang- raped when she was five months pregnant during the 2002 Gujarat riots.A special CBI court in Mumbai in January 2008 had awarded life imprisonment to the...

11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang rape case of Gujarat were released on Monday from a Godhra jail under the Gujarat government's remission policy, The Indian Express has reported. Bano was gang- raped when she was five months pregnant during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

A special CBI court in Mumbai in January 2008 had awarded life imprisonment to the 11 convicts after finding them guilty of committing gang rape and murder of seven members of Bilkis Bano's family during the post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat. The conviction was later on upheld by the Bombay High Court.

The 11 who have been set free are: Jaswant Nai, Govind Nai, Shailesh Bhatt, Radhyesham Shah, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohania, Pradeep Mordhiya, Bakabhai Vohania, Rajubhai Soni, Mitesh Bhatt and Ramesh Chandana.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Raj Kumar, said: "The 11 convicts have served a 14-year sentence in total. According to law, a life term means a minimum period of 14 years after which the convict can apply for remission. It is then the decision of the government to consider the application. Based on eligibility, prisoners are granted remission after the recommendation of the prison advisory committee as well as district legal authorities."

In this case, Kumar said: "Among the parameters considered are age, nature of the crime, behaviour in prison and so on…The convicts in this particular case were also considered eligible after considering all the factors since they had competed for 14 years of their life term."

It may be noted that in May, the Supreme Court had allowed the writ plea moved by one of the convicts, Radheshyam Bhagwandas Shah seeking direction to the State of Gujarat to consider his application for pre­mature release under the policy dated 9th July 1992 which was existing at the time of his conviction.

Following Apex Court's order, the government had formed a committee headed by the Godhra district Collector a few months back, which made a unanimous recommendation to release all 11 convicts, following which, the State Government decided to grant them the benefit of the Government's remission policy.

A CBI investigation in the matter was ordered by the Supreme Court after Bilkis approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), thereafter, in August 2004, the Supreme Court had transferred the trial from Gujarat to Maharashtra after taking into account the Bano's grievance that she was receiving death threats from the accused.

In 2019, the Supreme Court had directed the Gujarat Government to pay Rs 50 lakh compensation and to provide a government job to Bano after noting that she was 21 years old at the time of the incident and that her three-year-old child was killed in riots.

The bench of the then CJI Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta, and Justice Sanjiv Khanna had also directed the Government to provide her accommodation at a place of her choice, after noting that she had been living a nomadic life since 2002.

Next Story