'Trust Supreme Court': Bilkis Bano’s Husband on Challenging Convicts' Release

"The judiciary has done justice before, they'd do justice again," Bilkis Bano's husband, Yakub Rasool said.

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Hindi Female

"We have faith in the highest court of this country. They've done justice before, they'd do justice again," said 45-year-old Yakub Rasool, husband of Bilkis Bano.

Bano, on 30 November, challenged in the Supreme Court (SC) the early release of 11 men convicted of gang-raping her and killing 13 members of her family in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The convicts were released on 15 August as per Gujarat government's remission policy from 1992.

Speaking to The Quint, Rasool said that the couple was always sure about challenging the remission. "Initially our lawyers didn't have the documents required to challenge the release of the convicts. The day we got the documents, we started our preparations," he said.


The 11 men were released on 15 August and were greeted with garlands and sweets outside the Godhra sub-jail.

In a statement issued two days after their release, Bano said she was "bereft of words" and "numb". "Two days ago, on 15 August 2022, the trauma of the past 20 years washed over me again. When I heard that the 11 convicted men who devastated my family and my life, and took from me my three year old daughter had walked free," her statement read.

In an interview with The Quint on 21 August, 6 days after the convicts were released, Rasool said that Bano was under shock. "Bilkis toh itni maayus hai ki usne abhi tak kisi se baat nahi ki hai. Uska dil dukha hai aur uske mann mein darr baith gaya hai. (Bilkis is so disappointed that she hasn’t yet spoken to anyone. She is hurt and scared.)" he said.

Reflecting on the family's two-decade long struggle he had said that the "verdict had finished off their 18-year-old long struggle in one go."

"Hum apni zindagi bas thodi si sudharne ki koshish hi kar rahe thay ki itna bada jhatka hume lag gaya." (Just when we thought of improving our life, we received this shocking news)," said Rasool in August.

Three months on, as per Rasool, Bano has "recovered from the initial shock and is feeling better."

On What Grounds Has Bano Approached The Supreme Court?

Bano's lawyer, Shobha Gupta told The Quint that while not much can be divulged at the moment, they have filed a writ petition challenging the premature release of the 11 convicts and a review petition against the Supreme Court's decision allowing the Gujarat Government to make a decision on the remission of the convicts.

"We cannot tell you much as of now. We have approached the Supreme Court to challenge the release of the convicts as the Gujarat government is not the appropriate authority to grant them remission," she said.

The matter was mentioned before Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud for listing on 30 November.

As per news agency ANI, CJI Chandrachud said that he will examine the issue whether both pleas can be heard together and if they can be heard before the same bench.

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Topics:  Bilkis Bano   Bilkis Bano Case 

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