The Supreme Court has dismissed applications preferred by the 11 convicts in Bilkis Bano's rape case seeking more time to surrender before jail authorities, as the bench did not find any reason in the applications to allow it.

The bench had quashed remission granted to the 11 convicts in Bilkis Bano’s plea challenging their pre mature release in the rape-murder case by the Gujarat Government.

Earlier, on January 8, 2024 while quashing the remission granted to the 11 convicts in Bilkis Bano’s plea the Court had observed that its order dated May 17, 2022 was a nullity and non-est in law (bad in law) as a result of being per incuriam (lacking due regard to the fact or law).

A bench of Justice B.V. Nagarathna and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan while hearing the matter today observed that the grounds mentioned in the applications did not have any merit.

The Court had previously observed that its order dated May 13, 2022 was obtained by fraud (suppressing material facts). The said order had held that appropriate government to consider remission (Radheshyam's plea) would be the Gujarat government. The bench also took note of the fact that only Radheshyam (respondent no. 3 and one of the convicts) had sought remission in the matter.


Previously, on April 18, 2023, the bench had listed the matter on Tuesday at 2 pm for final disposal.

“…we had directed that the first respondent-Union of India as well as the second respondent-State of Gujarat will be ready with the relevant files regarding the grant of remission to the party-respondents on the next date of hearing. Learned Additional Solicitor General who appears for the Government of Gujarat and the Union of India would submit that while he has the files ready with him, both the State of Gujarat and the Union of India wish to file application seeking review of the order directing the State and the Union to be ready with the files…”, the bench had noted.

Earlier, a bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud and comprising Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala had agreed to constitute a special bench to hear the writ petitions. “I will have a bench constituted. Will look at it this evening," the Bench had said when Gupta had mentioned the matter for urgent listing before the Court.

On December 13, 2022, Justice Bela M Trivedi recused from hearing the writ plea filed by Bilkis Bano. The Court said that the writ petition may be listed before a Bench of which Justice Bela M Trivedi is not a member. In her plea against the grant of remission which had led to the release of the convicts on August 15, Bilkis Bano has said the state government passed a mechanical order completely ignoring the requirement of law as laid down by the Supreme Court.

Bilkis Bano was 21 years old and five months pregnant when she was gang-raped while fleeing the riots that broke out after the Godhra train burning incident. Her three-year-old daughter was among the seven family members killed.

The investigation in the case was handed over to the CBI and the trial was transferred to a Maharashtra court by the Supreme Court. A special CBI court in Mumbai had on January 21, 2008 sentenced the 11 to life imprisonment. Their conviction was later upheld by the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court. The 11 men convicted in the case walked out of the Godhra sub-jail on August 15 after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy. They had completed more than 15 years in jail.
Cause Title: Bilkis Yakub Bano v. Union of India & Ors. Justice BV Nagarathna