SC refuses to extend time for surrender of 3 convicts in Bilkis Bano case

New Delhi, Jan 19 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Friday refused to extend the time for surrender of the three convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case.

A bench of Justices B V Nagarathana and Justice Sanjay Karol said that the reasons cited in their application do not prevent them from complying with the January 8 order to surrender in two weeks.

The convicts will now have to surrender by Sunday, January 21.

Three convicts out of the 11 of Bilkis Bano case had moved the Supreme Court seeking more time to surrender. Senior advocate V Chitambaresh who appeared for one of the convicts, Govindhbhai Nai, had sought four weeks more time to surrender before the concerned jail authorities. He cited ill health as well as domestic responsibilities to seek an extension of time to surrender.

Two more convicts Ramesh Rupabhai Chandana who sought an extension for another six weeks and Mitesh Chimanlal Bhat who sought a six-week extension stated his winter produce was ready for harvest and he would prefer to complete the process and then surrender.

The court said that the reasons for which they seek time is not satisfactory, they should surrender as per the order.

The eleven convicts had been convicted on allegations of gang rape of Bilkis Bano and murdering her family members during the Gujarat riots in 2002.

On August 14, 2023, these convicts were released from jail by the Gujarat government on an early date, without serving their full term of imprisonment.

The Supreme Court Bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan on January 8 had quashed the remission granted to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case by the Gujarat government and asked them to surrender by January 21.

The Top Court said that it could not grant remission on these eleven convicts as their trial was not conducted in Gujarat .

The remission could have been granted by the Maharashtra Government only, as the trial was conducted there, the Apex Court said.

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