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Bilkis Bano Case: SC Dismisses Plea of Convicts Seeking More Time to Surrender

This comes 10 days after the SC quashed the remission order allowing the premature release of the 11 convicts.

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The Supreme Court on Friday, 19 January, dismissed batch of applications filed by 10 of the 11 men convicted in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang rape case, seeking more time to surrender before jail authorities, Bar & Bench reported.

"No reason seen in application to allow extension. All applications DISMISSED," said Justice BV Nagarathna.

This comes nearly two weeks after the apex court quashed the Gujarat government's remission order allowing the premature release of the eleven convicts. On 8 January, the court had ordered the convicts to report to jail within two weeks time – by 21 January.

Who filed the petition? The petition was filed by: Govindbhai Nai, Ramesh Rupabhai Chandana, Mitesh Chimanlal, Pradeep Ramanlal Modhiya, Bipinchand Kanaiyalal, Radheshyam Bhagwan Das, Jaswantbhai Chaturbhai Nai, Shaileshbhai Chimanlal Bhatt, Kesharbhai Khimabhai Vohania, Pradip Ramanlal Modhiya and Rajubhai Babulal Soni.

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But, why? All the 10 convicts sought more time to surrender, citing reasons such as meeting family responsibilities, taking care of aged parents, harvesting of winter crops and health conditions, Live Law reported.

Reasons cited:

  • Radheshyam Bhagwan Das (Six weeks): In his application, Das said he had aged parents with health issues, a wife and 21-year-old son. He sought six weeks time to make financial arrangements.

  • Mitesh Chimanlal Bhat (Six weeks): He sought an extension stating his winter produce is ready for harvest and he would prefer to complete the process and then surrender, Bar & Bench reported.

  • Jawantbhai Chaturbhai (Six weeks): He said that he needed time as it was harvest season and his entire family was dependent on him for agricultural income.

  • Ramesh Rupabhai Chandana (Six weeks): In his application, he claimed that he had to fulfill the responsibility of getting his son married.

  • Shaileshbhai Chimanlal Bhatt (Six weeks): Bhatt said that he had to fullfill several commitmments including his son's marriage and had medical conditions to attain to.

  • Bipinchand Kanaiyalal (Six weeks): In his application, he said that he had to undergo a leg surgery, and look after his wife who was battling cancer.

  • Kesharbhai Khimabhai Vohania (Six weeks): Vohania sought an extension to attend his son's wedding.

  • Pradip Ramanlal Modhiya (Four weeks): Modhiya said he recently had lung surgery and required time to recover.

  • Rajubhai Babulal Soni (Six weeks): Soni said that he has to look after his mother with health issues, and make financial arrangements for his wife and son.

  • Govindbhai Nai (Four weeks): The 55-year-old convict stated that 'he is the only caregiver for his ailing 88-year-old father, who is bedridden and "completely dependent" on him, and his 75-year-old mother.'

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What's the case? On 15 August 2022, the Gujarat government granted remission and released eleven men, sentenced to life for the gang rape of then 21-year-old Bano, and the murder of seven of her family members during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

While setting aside the government's decision, the top court had made a key observation – the "appropriate" government to take call on the remission of convicts was Maharashtra, and not Gujarat.

(With inputs from Live Law, Bar & Bench)

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Topics:  Bilkis Bano Case 

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