New Delhi: Mitesh Chimanlal Bhat, one of the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape case, who has been released prematurely for “good behaviour” in jail, is accused of raping the woman during parole in June 2020.

This has been revealed from the documents attached to the affidavit filed by the Gujarat government in the Supreme Court on Monday.

According to these documents, while considering the Gujarat government’s proposal to release 11 accused in the Bilkis Bano case, including Bhatt, the district SP had informed the Dahod district magistrate about the case registered against Bhatt during his release on parole.

The Radhikapur police had registered a case against Bhatt (57) in June 2020 under sections 354, 504 and 506(2) of the IPC.

Later, a charge sheet was also filed in the case and the trial of the case was pending. Till May 25 this year, Bhatt has “enjoyed 945 parole and furlough leave” in the ‘Bilkis Bano case’. In 2020, Bhatt was out of jail for 281 days despite an FIR being lodged, according to official data.

In the FIR and the complaint lodged with the police, Bhatt was accused of “threatening and harassing witnesses” and “raping a woman” during parole, which is in stark contrast to the logic of “good behaviour” given by the Gujarat government.

The Gujarat government, in an affidavit filed in the supreme court, had claimed that it had taken the decision to release the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case with the approval of the Union Home Ministry.

The apex court had termed the state government’s affidavit as “large-scale” and devoid of facts. The convicts, who were released on August 15 this year on the occasion of ‘Independence Day’, were greeted like heroes outside the jail by garlanding them in gallows and distributing sweets.

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