Justice Bela M Trivedi Recuses From Hearing Bilkis Bano's Plea Against Early Release Of Convicts
Supreme Court judge Bela M Trivedi today recused herself from hearing a plea filed by Bilkis Bano, who was gangraped and seven members of her family killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots, challenging the remission of sentence of 11 convicts in the case by the state government.
As soon as a Bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Bela M Trivedi took up the matter for hearing, Justice Rastogi said that his sister judge will not like to hear the case.
"List the matter before a bench in which one of us is not a member", the Bench headed by Justice Rastogi ordered. The Bench did not specify any reason for the recusal of Justice Trivedi.
Bilkis Bano, who has also filed a separate plea seeking a review of the Apex Court's May 13, 2022 order on a plea by a convict in which it had asked the Gujarat government to consider the plea for premature release of the convicts in terms of its policy of July 9, 1992 about deciding a remission petition within a period of two months.
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 gangraped 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.
With PTI inputs