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Bilkis Bano case: Senior SC lawyer reveals the truth behind release of 11 convicts

Ahmedabad: Drawing curtain over the release of 11 men convicted in the 2002 case of riot survivor Bilkis Bano’s gang-rape and murder of her family members, senior Supreme Court lawyer Rishi Malhotra on Tuesday said that 11 convicts were released from jail on Centre’s consent.

The lawyer disclosed this during a panel discussion on Mojo Story, a digital news platform adding that the Centre had given its approval as per the Gujarat government’s remission policy, under which they were set free after serving more than 15 years in jail. Malhotra represents these 11 convicts in the Supreme Court, where their release has been challenged.

PTI quoted him as saying, “Absolutely. (approval) taken under the section 435 of CrPC. Please record my statement. I am saying this with full responsibility that the Centre government concurrence as required under the law was taken.”

Eleven convicts, sentenced to life imprisonment in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case from the 2002 Gujarat riots, walked out of the Godhra sub-jail on August 15 after a Gujarat government panel approved their application for remission of sentence. 

Notably, Bilkis Bano was 19-years-old and five months pregnant when she was gang-raped while fleeing the violence that broke out after the Godhra train burning in Gujarat in 2002. Her three-year-old daughter was among the seven family members killed in the riots at Randhikpur village in Limkheda taluka of Dahod district on March 3, 2002.

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