Bilkis Bano sentenced for woman’s outrageous modesty: Gujarat to SC

The Gujarat government has told the Supreme Court that one of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case was charged with indecently indecent a woman in 2020 while on parole.

The state government submitted a 477-page affidavit to the Supreme Court in response to motions challenging the release of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case. He said the convicts were out of jail for around 1,000 days before they were even released with a reduced life sentence.

One of the convicts, Mitesh Chamanlal Bhatt was arrested and charged with offenses under Articles 354 (indecent exposure of the woman), 504 (insult intended to cause a breach of the peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the ICC , carrying a maximum sentence of 7 years, or a fine, or both.

The state government further added that all of the convicts were granted furlough, parole and even temporary bail at different times during their imprisonment – ​​1,576 days being the highest and 998 days the lowest.

The Dahod District Magistrate gave information about Bhatt in his letter dated May 25, 2022. He gave his opinion on his premature release under Sections 432-433A of the CrPC—relating to suspension and surrender sentence of convicts.

The letter states that the case against Bhatt was registered at Randhikpur police station in Dahod district, and that an indictment has been filed and the case is pending before the board of directors of the court. The letter stated that the incident occurred on June 19, 2020 and that since then Bhatt had been granted 281 furloughs out of a total of 954 days of parole and furlough till the date of May 25, 2022.

The Collector made no objection to Bhatt’s early release after considering the advice of Deputy Inspector of Police, Randhikpur, and Deputy Superintendent of Police, Limkheda.

In an affidavit, the Gujarat government told the Supreme Court that it had decided to release the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case because they had spent 14+ years in prison and their behavior had been deemed good and that the Center had also transmitted its “agreement/approval”.

The state government also added that the Superintendent of Police, CBI, Special Crime Branch, Mumbai and the Special Civil Judge (CBI), City Civil and Sessions Court, Greater Bombay, had, in March of the last year, opposed to the premature release of convicts.

The CBI official, in letters to the Superintendent of Godhra Sub-Prison, stated that the offense committed by the convicts was heinous, grave and grave, therefore, they cannot be released prematurely.

In an affidavit, the Under Secretary of the State Home Office said: ‘Government of India has conveyed Central Government Agreement/Approval under Section 435 of the CrPC for the premature release of 11 prisoners in a letter dated July 11, 2022a.

The affidavit indicates that the state government considered the opinions of seven authorities – the Inspector General of Gujarat Prisons, the Superintendents of Prisons, the Prisons Advisory Committee, the District Magistrate, the Superintendent of Police, CBI, Special Crime Branch, Mumbai, and Court of Sessions, Mumbai.

The Gujarat government’s response came on a plea filed by former CPI-M MP Subhasini Ali, journalist Revati Laul and Professor Roop Rekha Verma, challenging the release of 11 men convicted of the Bilkis Bano gang rape and several murders during the 2002 riots in Gujarat. . Petitions challenging the release of the convicts have been filed by Trinamool Congressman Mahua Moitra and others.

On October 18, the Supreme Court granted the petitioners time to file their response to the state government’s counter affidavit and scheduled the case for a rehearing on November 29.

–IANS

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