Examination of the Bilkis Bano Verdict

Author : Yogricha

Updated On : January 12, 2024

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MPHC

In-Depth Analysis of the Bilkis Bano Judgment:

Overview: The Supreme Court recently delivered a significant judgment in the case of Bilkis Yakub Rasool v. Union of India & Ors. (2022). This judgment involved the overturning of a previous ruling from May 13, 2022, which had granted the state government of Gujarat the authority to decide the premature release of 11 life convicts convicted in the Bilkis Bano rape case. The Supreme Court declared its earlier judgment null and void, deeming it legally flawed.

Background of the Bilkis Bano Case: Writ petitions were filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Orders of the State of Gujarat dated August 10, 2022, which granted remission and early release to 11 convicts convicted of heinous crimes during the Gujarat riots of February 2002. These riots followed the Godhra train burning incident on February 27, 2002.

Key Facts Presented in Bilkis Bano’s Petition:

  • Bilkis Yakub Rasool, the petitioner, was brutally gang-raped while pregnant during the riots.
  • Her mother was gang-raped and murdered, and her cousin, who had just given birth, was also gang-raped and killed.
  • Eight minors, including a two-day-old infant, were murdered.
  • Bilkis's three-year-old daughter was killed by smashing her head on a rock.
  • The Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court sentenced 11 accused to life imprisonment for conspiracy, rape, murder, and unlawful assembly under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on January 21, 2008.

Other Petitions Filed: Several other petitions were filed alongside Bilkis Bano's case, challenging the Gujarat Government's August 10, 2022, order.

Key Legal Issues: The main legal issues addressed in this case were:

  1. The competency of the Government of the State of Gujarat to pass the orders of remission.
  2. Whether the orders of remission were in accordance with the law.

Petitioners' Arguments:

  • Petitioners argued that once a competent court in the State of Maharashtra had tried and convicted the accused, Maharashtra became the "appropriate Government."
  • Therefore, the remission orders issued by the State of Gujarat were without jurisdiction and null and void and should be quashed.
  • They contended that the remission policy of Maharashtra should apply in this case, as it was the appropriate government.
  • They pointed out that the remission policy of Gujarat in 1992 was applied because the policy of 2014 was not in force.
  • The remission policy of 1992 did not exempt rape convicts from benefiting from remission.

State of Gujarat's Defense: The State of Gujarat argued that if a policy beneficial to the convict existed at the time of considering premature release, the convict should not be deprived of such a beneficial policy. They also claimed that judicial review of the remission order was not permissible in law.

Supreme Court's Conclusion:

  • The Supreme Court held that if the State of Gujarat had filed a review application, stating that it was not the "appropriate Government," but Maharashtra was, the litigation could have been avoided.
  • Since Gujarat did not seek a correction of the previous Supreme Court order and passed the remission orders, it was considered a nullity in law.
  • The judgment of May 13, 2022, was declared null and void as it was obtained through the suppression and misrepresentation of material facts and amounted to fraud.
  • The beneficiaries of the remission were directed to surrender to the concerned jail authorities within two weeks.

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Examination of the Bilkis Bano Verdict

Author : Yogricha

January 12, 2024

SHARE

MPHC

In-Depth Analysis of the Bilkis Bano Judgment:

Overview: The Supreme Court recently delivered a significant judgment in the case of Bilkis Yakub Rasool v. Union of India & Ors. (2022). This judgment involved the overturning of a previous ruling from May 13, 2022, which had granted the state government of Gujarat the authority to decide the premature release of 11 life convicts convicted in the Bilkis Bano rape case. The Supreme Court declared its earlier judgment null and void, deeming it legally flawed.

Background of the Bilkis Bano Case: Writ petitions were filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Orders of the State of Gujarat dated August 10, 2022, which granted remission and early release to 11 convicts convicted of heinous crimes during the Gujarat riots of February 2002. These riots followed the Godhra train burning incident on February 27, 2002.

Key Facts Presented in Bilkis Bano’s Petition:

  • Bilkis Yakub Rasool, the petitioner, was brutally gang-raped while pregnant during the riots.
  • Her mother was gang-raped and murdered, and her cousin, who had just given birth, was also gang-raped and killed.
  • Eight minors, including a two-day-old infant, were murdered.
  • Bilkis's three-year-old daughter was killed by smashing her head on a rock.
  • The Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court sentenced 11 accused to life imprisonment for conspiracy, rape, murder, and unlawful assembly under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on January 21, 2008.

Other Petitions Filed: Several other petitions were filed alongside Bilkis Bano's case, challenging the Gujarat Government's August 10, 2022, order.

Key Legal Issues: The main legal issues addressed in this case were:

  1. The competency of the Government of the State of Gujarat to pass the orders of remission.
  2. Whether the orders of remission were in accordance with the law.

Petitioners' Arguments:

  • Petitioners argued that once a competent court in the State of Maharashtra had tried and convicted the accused, Maharashtra became the "appropriate Government."
  • Therefore, the remission orders issued by the State of Gujarat were without jurisdiction and null and void and should be quashed.
  • They contended that the remission policy of Maharashtra should apply in this case, as it was the appropriate government.
  • They pointed out that the remission policy of Gujarat in 1992 was applied because the policy of 2014 was not in force.
  • The remission policy of 1992 did not exempt rape convicts from benefiting from remission.

State of Gujarat's Defense: The State of Gujarat argued that if a policy beneficial to the convict existed at the time of considering premature release, the convict should not be deprived of such a beneficial policy. They also claimed that judicial review of the remission order was not permissible in law.

Supreme Court's Conclusion:

  • The Supreme Court held that if the State of Gujarat had filed a review application, stating that it was not the "appropriate Government," but Maharashtra was, the litigation could have been avoided.
  • Since Gujarat did not seek a correction of the previous Supreme Court order and passed the remission orders, it was considered a nullity in law.
  • The judgment of May 13, 2022, was declared null and void as it was obtained through the suppression and misrepresentation of material facts and amounted to fraud.
  • The beneficiaries of the remission were directed to surrender to the concerned jail authorities within two weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are important topics in Judiciary Prelims Exam?

What is the marking scheme of Judiciary Prelims and Mains Exam?

Is Viva-Voce stage compulsory?

What is the Judiciary Age Limit to apply for Civil Judge post?

How many attempts are there in Judiciary Exam?

If I complete my LLB degree with 2 years gap, will I be eligible for Judiciary Exam?

Is it important to score good in general Hindi and general English subjects?

Can the Rajasthan Judiciary Service Examination be passed at the first attempt?

Which is the more superior position – Judge or IAS?

What are the books that you can study for Jharkhand Judiciary Service Examination?

Can I apply offline for Haryana Judiciary Exam?

Which subjects are most important to focus on while preparing for the MP Judiciary Services Examination? 

When is the best time to start preparing for Delhi Judiciary Exam?

What is the minimum percentage which is needed to appear for the Delhi Judiciary Service Examination?

Will there be a separate course for State Specific Judiciary Prep?

What if I miss a Classroom Session?

Can I watch a class again?

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