New Delhi: A special bench was constituted to hear pleas against the release of the accused in the Bilkis Bano case. The bench will consist of Justice KM Joseph and Justice BV Nagarathna. The Supreme Court will consider the petition on Monday.
Bilkis Bano’s petitions will be considered by a bench comprising of Justice KM Joseph and Justice B V Nagarathna, who have criticized the central government at various stages including the appointment of judges.
During the 2002 Gujarat riots, 11 accused in the case of gang-raping Bilkil Bano and killing her family members, including a three-year-old child, were released on August 15 last year.
The action was based on the recommendation of a committee formed by the Gujarat government. The move was in the context of the Supreme Court verdict of May 13, 2022 that the state government has the authority to decide whether to release the accused.
On Wednesday, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud accepted Bilkis Bano’s lawyer Shobha Gupta’s demand for constitution of a special bench to consider the petitions filed against the action, after several adjournments.
Apart from the petition questioning the release of the convicts, a separate petition was also filed seeking review of the Supreme Court order dated 13 May 2002. On January 4, Justice Bela M Trivedi had withdrawn from the bench hearing the petition against the release of the accused.
Bela M Trivedi was the Law Secretary to the Government of Gujarat from 2004-2006 and stepped down in this context.