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Bilkis Bano case: Supreme Court said- it is not within the jurisdiction of Gujarat government to consider the petition for premature release of the convicts.

New Delhi. Rejecting “conservative and cyclostyle” relaxation orders passed by the Gujarat government, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the 11 convicts in the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and murder of her family members, including her daughter, to surrender before the concerned jail authorities within two weeks. Said to.

Justice B.V. A bench of Justices Nagarathna and Ujjwal Bhuyan said the Maharashtra government had the right to consider the premature release plea filed by the convicts as they were sentenced by a special court in Mumbai.

It was held that the Government of Gujarat is not the appropriate government within the meaning of Section 432(7) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the application filed by the convicts seeking remission of sentence should have been conveniently dismissed by the Government of Gujarat because it did not have the authority to consider the petition of these culprits.

It said that the order passed by the apex court in May 2022 had asked the Gujarat government to consider the remission application filed by a convict as he had attempted to mislead the court by hiding material aspects.

The top court said, “We hold that the order dated 13.05.2022 passed by this court… is a victim of fraud and is void and non-sustainable in the eyes of law and therefore cannot be given effect to. Therefore, All the actions taken as per the order are corrupt.”

“We fail to understand why the first respondent herein, the State of Gujarat, did not file a review petition… whether the State of Gujarat had filed an application for review of that (May 2022) order and impressed upon this Court It was not the ‘proper government’, but the Maharashtra government was the ‘proper government’.”

The Supreme Court held that its May 2022 order proved “invalid in the eyes of law” due to false statements made by a convict. As a result, the exercise of discretion by the Gujarat government is nothing but an attempt to usurp jurisdiction and abuse of discretion, the top court said.

“We cancel the orders of remission of sentence on the ground of usurpation of powers by the Government of Gujarat that are not vested in it. Therefore, the orders of remission on this ground are also canceled.”

Importantly, the top court has upheld the writ petition filed by victim Bilkis Bano, where she challenged the validity of the Gujarat government’s decision to grant premature release to 11 convicts on August 15, 2022.

However, the Supreme Court said it was not necessary to decide the question of maintainability of public interest litigations (PILs) filed by CPI-M leader Subhashini Ali, Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra, National Federation of Indian Women, Asma Shafiq Sheikh, and others. Others are against exemption orders, and they are kept open for consideration in any other appropriate case.

“If ultimately the rule of law is to prevail and the impugned orders of remission are to be quashed by us, then natural consequences must follow.” It rejected the plea for protection of the liberty of the convicts and required them to be returned to the jail authorities within two weeks. Ordered to report.”

The apex court had in 2004 ordered the transfer of the case from Gujarat to Mumbai for hearing and disposal. The special judge of the Greater Mumbai court convicted 11 accused in 2008 and sentenced them to life imprisonment for various crimes, including the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her family members during the 2002 Godhra riots.

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