New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear today a batch of petitions challenging the Gujarat government’s order allowing premature release of 11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the Bilkis Bano case. Earlier, Shailesh Chimanlal Bhatt, one of the convicts in the case, shared the stage with Dahod BJP MP Jaswant Singh Bhabhor and MLA Shailesh Bhabhor on Saturday. It was a government programme.

Shailesh Chimanlal Bhatt, a convict in the Bilkis Bano case, was seen sitting next to the BJP MP and MLA at the event related to the government’s Har Ghar Jal Yojana. The event took place on March 25 at Karmadi village in Dahod district.

The Supreme Court will hear on Monday a batch of petitions challenging the remission of sentence of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape case during the 2002 Gujarat riots. A bench of Justices KM Joseph and B V Nagarathna will hear petitions filed by several political and civil rights activists and a writ petition filed by Bano.

On March 22, Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had directed immediate listing of the matter and agreed to set up a new bench to hear the petitions.

The matter had come up before a bench comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi on January 4, but Justice Trivedi recused himself from hearing the matter without assigning any reason.

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