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Bilkis Bano Case: Gujarat’s Remission Of Prison Sentence Of 11 Convicts Turns Justice Into A Farce

Law/Remission

Bilkis Bano Case: Gujarat’s Remission Of Prison Sentence Of 11 Convicts Turns Justice Into A Farce

A disturbing commentary made the rounds that the rapists belonging to the virtuous caste and kinship would not have committed the crime

Photo Imaging: Leela

Nothing could have been more brutal and bestial than a pregnant woman being gang­-­raped in front of her mother and the mother in front of her. Nothing could have been more gruesome and barbaric than to have the same woman witness a mass mur­der of 14 members of her family. Bilkis Bano, a Pasmanda Muslim, however, escaped death and survived to fight for justice. The Bombay high court upheld the conviction of 11 accused to life imprisonment on the charge of gang rape and murder and this year the convicts completed more than 15 years in jail.

On August 15 this year, Independence Day turned out to be a ‘horrendous day’ for Bilkis when the Gujarat government prematurely rel­e­a­sed all the perpetrators of the heinous crime from prison. The government chose to follow the retrospective Gujarat remission policy of 1992, despite having a more progressive existing remission policy of 2014, which was made post-Nirbh­aya case. Shocked and horrified at the release of her rapists and murderers of her family, Bilkis and her husband started looking for a safe house.

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