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Sunday, January 29, 2023

All 11 should be in jail; Sibal tells SC


 A day after the Gujarat government justified its stand that Bilkis Bano’s 11 convicts remission was correc, lawyer Kapil Sibal on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that all the 11 should be sent to jail.

“They should be inside” the jail, in my opinion,” Sibal, appearing for petitioners Subhashini Ali and others told a two-judge Bench headed by Justice Ajay Rastogi and also comprising Justice C T Ravikumar.

The Supreme Court granted time to the petitioners to file their responses to the Gujarat government’s affidavit filed on Monday. The Supreme Court fixed the next date of hearing as November 29.

The Gujarat government in its detailed affidavit filed said that third party strangers have no locus to challenge remission orders passed by competent authority strictly as per law.

“It is pertinent to note that the petitioner, (Subhashini Ali) who is admittedly a political functionary, has not even pleaded that how she has the locus to seek for quashing the order of remission passed by Respondent no 1 (Gujarat government) with respect to the 11 convicts sentenced by the Special Judge, Greater Mumbai,” the Gujarat government said.

Questioning the maintainability of the batch of pleas challenging the release of 11 convicts in Bilkis Bano case, the Gujarat government argued that the petitioner has nowhere pleaded as to how her fundamental rights have been abridged.

The state government has considered the cases of all 11 prisoners as per the policy of 1992 and remission was granted on August 10, 2022, it said.

The Supreme Court was hearing the petitions filed by CPI (M) MP Subhasini Ali, journalist Revati Laul and Prof Roop Rekha Verma challenging the Gujarat government’s decision to grant remission to the 11 for killing 14 persons and sexually assaulting pregnant Bilkis Bano during the 2002 riots.

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