The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre, Gujarat government and all the convicts on a plea filed by Bilkis Bano challenging the pre-mature release of 11 convicts who had gang-raped her and murdered her family members during the 2002 Godhra riots.
A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna posted the matter for hearing on April 18.
It asked the Union and Gujarat governments to be ready with the relevant files granting remission to the convicts on the next date of hearing. The top court also directed that the pleadings in the case to be completed by the next date of hearing.
The apex court said there is a gamut of issues involved and it needs to hear the matter in detail.
During the hearing, Justice Joseph asked, “We have before us many murder cases where convicts are languishing in jails for remission without years. Is this a case where standards have been applied uniformly as in other cases too?”
Earlier, a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi had ordered that the matter be listed before a bench of which Justice Trivedi is not a part as she had recused herself from hearing the case.
Besides filing a petition against the pre-mature release of convicts, Bano had also filed a review petition seeking a review of its earlier order by which it had asked the Gujarat government to consider the plea for the remission of one of the convicts.
The review petition was dismissed.