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Bilkis Bano, a rape convict, petitions the Supreme Court to overturn his verdict and provide remission.

Bilkis Bano, a rape convict, petitions the Supreme Court to overturn his verdict and provide remission. - The Hard News Daily

A convict involved in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court challenging the January 8 ruling that revoked the remission given to the 11 offenders. The Supreme Court overturned the remission given to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape case and invalidated its previous order from May 2022, which had instructed the Gujarat government to review the convicts’ remission requests. The court determined that the ruling was legally flawed and gained through fraudulent means because one of the petitioners, Radheshyam Bhagwandas Shah, who is also a criminal, concealed important information and provided false statements in court.

Radheshyam Bhagwandas Shah, a criminal previously reprimanded by the highest court for providing false information, has now filed a challenge in the Supreme Court against the decision to revoke his early release, as reported by Bar and Bench.

As to the article, Shah has submitted a petition arguing that the cancellation of his remission and the re-imprisonment of all eleven offenders was “judicially improper.” He has contested the January 8 ruling by a division bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan, arguing that it was legally improper for one division bench to overturn another division bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Vikram Nath. Shah argues that the issue should be brought before a larger panel because the division benches hold conflicting opinions.

Radheshyam Shah has requested bail till the highest court explains which division bench ruling should be followed, as reported.

In May 2022, the division bench headed by Justice Rastogi determined that the Gujarat government, rather than the Maharashtra government, was responsible for deciding on remission applications from rape prisoners. The Gujarat government gave remission to the 11 prisoners after the ruling.

In January 2024, Justice Nagarathna led the division bench that reversed this ruling. The Supreme Court determined that the writ case questioning the Gujarat government’s authority to award remission was valid since Gujarat exceeded its jurisdiction by granting remission that belonged to Maharashtra.

Bilkis Bano Rasool, aged 21 and five months pregnant, was a victim of gang rape during the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. Seven members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter, perished in the rioting.

In 2008, a special court in Mumbai sentenced all 11 defendants to life imprisonment, a verdict that was later confirmed by a division bench of the Bombay High Court in 2017.

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