The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to constitute a special bench to hear a plea by Bilkis Bano, who was gang-raped during the 2002 Gujarat riots, against the remission of sentence of 11 convicts in the case.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala assured Bano, represented through her lawyer Shobha Gupta, that the new bench will be formed.
Gupta mentioned the matter for urgent hearing and said that a new bench needs to be constituted.
“I will have a bench constituted. Will look at it this evening,” the CJI said.
Earlier, on 24 January, the hearing on Bano’s plea challenging the remission of sentence of 11 convicts in the gang-rape case by the Gujarat government could not be held in the top court as the judges concerned were hearing a matter related to passive euthanasia as part of a five-judge Constitution bench.
Besides the plea challenging the release of the convicts, the gang-rape survivor had also filed a separate petition seeking a review of the apex court’s 13 May 2022 order on a plea by a convict.
Seven members of Bilkis Bano’s family were also killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
In its 13 May 2022 order, the apex court had asked the state government to consider the plea of a convict for premature release in terms of its policy of 9 July 1992 which was applicable on the date of conviction and decide it within a period of two months.
All 11 convicts were granted remission by the Gujarat government and released on 15 August last year.
Bano’s review plea against the 13 May 2022 order, however, was dismissed by the top court in December last year. (Agencies)