New Delhi: Hearing the Bilkis Bano rape case, the Supreme Court today issued notice to the Gujarat government and sought an explation on the matter that why 11 men, convicted to life imprisonment for gang-raping Bano and murdering her family members, have been released from the jail.

Along with this, the court directed the government to make the culprits parties in the case. Now the next hearing in this case will be held after two weeks.

During the hearing, Kapil Sibal questioned whether the culprits of the murder of 14 people and gang-rape of the pregnant woman were released? We want the report to be called here and see how the committee recommended the release.

Here, the counsel for the convicts opposed it and said that the petitioner is a third party. In such a situation, the Supreme Court directed the petitioner to make all the convicts parties. Also, now the Supreme Court will examine the release of 11 convicts of Bilkil. In this regard, a notice has been issued to the Gujarat government and a reply has been sought.

During the hearing, Justice Ajay Rastogi said that the question is whether the convicts are entitled to exemption under the rules of Gujarat or not? I read somewhere that it was written that the Supreme Court had ordered it to be released. But no, we only asked Gujarat to proceed according to the law.

Significantly, during the 2002 Gujarat riots, Bilkis was gang-raped and his family members murdered. The 12 convicts who gang-raped Bilkis were sentenced to life imprisonment. One of them died during the trial and 11 people were sent to jail.

In 2008, a special court in Mumbai had sentenced the convicts to life imprisonment for the gang-rape and murder of seven members of Bilkis Bano’s family.

However, recently, a Gujarat court released all the 11 convicts prematurely on the same day, after which a political storm erupted in the country over the issue.

Expressing displeasure over the court’s decision, Bilkis had sought the right to live without fear. In such a situation, many social organizations came forward and the matter reached the Supreme Court.

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