'Sole caretaker of parents': Bilkis Bano case convicts seek more time to surrender

In the Bilkis Bano rape case, three convicts have approached the Supreme Court, requesting an extension of their surrender deadline by six to four weeks before jail authorities.
'Sole caretaker of parents': Bilkis Bano case convicts seek more time to surrender
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

In the Bilkis Bano case, three convicts have submitted an application to the Supreme Court, requesting an extension of their surrender deadline by six to four weeks before jail authorities.

During an urgent mention before a bench headed by Justice B V Nagarthana, the lawyers requested the bench to take up the case urgently as the time of surrender is ending on Sunday.

The bench then directed the registry to place the case before the CJI for an urgent hearing. It is likely that the hearing will take place on Friday (last working day of the Supreme Court this week).

One of the convicts, Govindhbhai Nai, in his plea, cited the responsibility of caring for his 88-year-old father and 75-year-old mother, saying that he was their sole caretaker.

Nai said that his father was an elderly man suffering from asthma and was in poor health as he had recently underwent surgery, including an angiography, and was scheduled for another operation for the treatment of haemorrhoids.

Citing his good conduct, Nai in his application said, "During the period of release, I had committed no infraction of law whatsoever and had followed the conditions of order of remission in letter and spirit."

Another convict, Ramesh Rupabhai Chandana, sought a six-week extension, explaining that he needed time to arrange his son's wedding.

Mitesh Chimanlal Bhat, the third convict, also requested a six-week extension, mentioning that his winter produce is ready for harvest, and he would like to complete this task before surrendering.

Notably, on January 8, the Supreme Court cancelled an order passed by the state to release 11 men convicted of raping Bilkis Bano and killing seven of her family members during the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat.

The court had ruled that the Gujarat government was "not competent enough" to pass such an order and termed the move a "fraud act".

The 11 convicts were released on August 15, 2022, after completing 15 years in prison, along with considerations of their age and behaviour during incarceration.

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'Sole caretaker of parents': Bilkis Bano case convicts seek more time to surrender

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 in Gujarat on March 3, 2002. Her three-year-old daughter was among the seven family members killed.

Source: India Today

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