Two prisoners from the Bilkis Bano case petition the SC to revoke their early release

In the Bilkis Bano gang rape case, two of the guilty have petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn its decision to revoke the remission that was given to them. They have also requested that the matter be sent to a higher court for a definitive decision.

Two of the eleven convicts in the case, Radheyshaym Bhagwandas Shah and Rajubhai Babulal Soni, claimed in their petition that an “anomalous” situation had arisen because two different top court benches of equal strength had taken opposing positions on the same issue of premature release and which state government policy would apply to the petitioners for remission.

According to the plea, which was submitted through attorney Rishi Malhotra, one bench on May 13, 2022, ordered the Gujarat government to take Shah’s application for premature release into consideration in light of the state government’s remission policy. However, the bench that rendered the decision on January 8, 2024, determined that Maharashtra, not the Gujarat government, was the appropriate authority to grant remission.

“An unusual circumstance has emerged in this case where two distinct co-ordinate benches, seated in the same configuration as a two-judge bench, have adopted diametrically opposed positions on the identical matter of the petitioner’s premature release and the State Government’s applicable policy,” the statement read.

The Gujarat government was found to have been involved in the convicts’ detention and had improperly used its authority to order their premature release, according to the Supreme Court, which overturned the remission given to the 11 men found guilty in the case on January 8 and ordered them to surrender in two weeks.

Shah and Soni claimed that the court judgment was against the law and proper judicial procedure in their most recent plea. It said that Bilkis had previously submitted an unsuccessful review petition in opposition to the May 2022 ruling. He said that the victim’s sole option was to file a curative case rather than a writ petition against the previous May 13 ruling. In the Rupa Ashok Hurra case (2002), a Constitution bench ruling made this determination.

“The judgment dated January 8th is in direct opposition to the ruling made by the Constitution Bench in the Rupa Ashok Hurra case, and it must be overturned. If it is allowed to stand, it will not only result in judicial misconduct but also create confusion and disorder regarding the proper legal precedent to follow going forward,” the petition stated.

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