Bilkis Bano case: Gujarat HC grants 10-day parole to convicted rapist for nephew’s wedding

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A group of convicted rapists who were released in Bilkis Banoo rape case by Gujarat Govt were later garlanded by Hindu Right-wing members in 2022.

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has granted 10-day parole to Bilkis Bano case convict Ramesh Chandana to attend his nephew’s wedding scheduled for March 5.

Chandana, who moved the High Court for parole last week, is the second convict in the case to be granted parole after all 11 convicts in the case surrendered at a jail in Godhra town on January 21 following a Supreme Court order.

They were convicted in a case of gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of seven of her family members during the 2002 Godhra riots.

“By this application, the convict-applicant prays for parole leave on the grounds of attending the marriage ceremony of the son of his sister. Taking into consideration the grounds urged in this application, the applicant-accused is ordered to be released on parole leave for a period of ten days,” said Justice Divyesh Joshi in his order issued on Friday.

As per the Gujarat government’s affidavit before the Supreme Court, Chandana had enjoyed parole for 1,198 days and a furlough of 378 days since his incarceration in 2008.

Earlier, Pradip Modhiya, another convict in the case, was released from the Godhra jail on parole from February 7 to 11 after the high court allowed his parole plea.

In August 2022, 11 convicts serving life sentences were granted premature release from jail after the state government accepted their remission applications in keeping with its 1992 policy, citing their ‘good conduct’ during imprisonment.

The Supreme Court on January 8 quashed the remission of sentence of all 11 convicts ruling that the state government lacked jurisdiction to grant premature release to the convicts, as the trial in the 2002 case was held in Maharashtra.

The Supreme Court then ordered the convicts, who were released from Godhra district jail on Independence Day in 2022 after being in prison for 14 years, to return to jail within two weeks.

They surrendered before the Godhra jail authorities on January 21.

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