Gujarat govt’s reply in Bilkis Bano case convicts’ remission bulky: SC

NationalGujarat govt's reply in Bilkis Bano case convicts’ remission bulky: SC

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday that the reply, given by the Gujarat government to the pleas challenging the remission of 11 convicts in Bilkis Bano case, was very bulky and contained several judgements, but it lacked factual statements.

The apex court granted time to the petitioners to file their response to the Gujarat government’s affidavit. The court will hear the case on November 29. The convicts were linked with the Gujarat riots in 2002.

A bench headed by Justice Ajay Rastogi hearing the petition observed: “I have not come across a counter affidavit where a series of judgements are quoted. Factual statement should have been made. A very bulky counter. Where is the factual statement; where is the application of mind?” Another member of the bench is Justice CT Ravikumar. The bench said that the reply filed by the Gujarat government be made available to all parties.

Justice observed that even before he could go through the Gujarat government’s reply, it appeared in newspapers. Justice Rastogi told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that he had not come across a counter affidavit where a series of judgments have been quoted. Mehta agreed with the bench and said that it could have been avoided.

CPI (M) leader Subhashini Ali and two other women filed the PIL against the remission of sentence of the convicts and their release. Initially, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the petitioners, said that he needed time to file the reply.

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