Bilkis Bano Gang Rape Convict Out On Parole After 16 Days In Jail As Father-In-Law Expires

After spending 16 days in jail post surrender on January 21, a convict in Bilkis Bano’s gang rape case was granted Parole from the Gujarat High Court for five days due to the death of his father-in-law.

As directed by the Supreme Court, the eleven convicts in the Bilkis Bano case surrendered at the Godhra jail on the night of January 21. 

The convict Pradipbhai Ramamlal Modiya had submitted the death certificate in the high court seeking parole for 30 days. However, the high court only granted five days of parole.

Justice MR Mengdey of the Gujarat High Court granted parole to Modiya after examining the death certificate and the statement of the jail officer.

Earlier, the Supreme Court on January 19 dismissed the applications filed by all. the eleven Bilkis Bano case convicts seeking extension in time to surrender before jail authorities. 

On January 8, the top court quashed remission granted to 11 convicts. in Bilkis Bano’s gang-rape case and nullified its May 2022 judgment that had directed the Gujarat Government to consider the remission applications of the convicts. The court held that not only the judgment was "bad in law" but also obtained by "fraud" as one of the petitioners (also a convict) had suppressed crucial facts and made misleading statements. The court had directed all the 11 convicts to report back to concerned jail authorities within two weeks.

The court also held that the writ petition that challenged the Gujarat government’s power to grant remission was maintainable as the state of Gujarat. usurped the powers of state of Maharashtra while granting remission. 

Bilkis Bano Rasool was 21-years-old and five months pregnant when she was gang-raped during the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. Seven members of her family including her three-year-old daughter were killed in the riots.

In 2008, all the 11 convicts were awarded life imprisonment by a special court in Mumbai and the decision was upheld by a division bench of the Bombay High Court in 2017.