Rapists Are Roaming Free: Bilkis Bano's Lawyer Shobha Gupta On Remission

The premature release of Bilkis Bano's rapists served as a great travesty to humanity and justice and proved to be a huge slap in the face of women's rights and protection.

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Advocate Shobha, Bilkis Bano Lawyer
The convicts in the Bilkis Bano rape case were released on August 15 this year under a remission policy of the Gujarat Government, a decision that has been critiqued across the country. The Supreme Court is hearing three petitions challenging the release of the 11 convicts.

Shobha Gupta, who is Bano's lawyer, recently made massive statements around the verdict that released the convicts on account of "good behaviour", saying that the release is not justified either by law or by humanity.

The premature release of Bilkis Bano's rapists served as a great travesty to humanity and justice and proved to be a huge slap in the face of women's rights and protection. Bano's lawyer Shobha Gupta believes the release is not just illegal but also a huge threat to women in general.

Bilkis Bano approached the Supreme Court on November 30, challenging the premature release of the 11 men convicted of gangraping her and murdering her family in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Bano filed a review plea against the May order of the Supreme Court which allowed the Gujarat government to apply the 1992 Remission Rules to release the convicts.

The apex court is set to hear Bano's plea on December 13.


Suggested reading: Bilkis Bano Case Convict Accused Of Outraging Woman’s Modesty While On Parole

Bilkis Bano Lawyer On Remission

Shobha Gupta, who has helmed the Bilkis Bano case for a long time, called the Gujarat Government's verdict an unjust move. In an &t=8s">interview with a Law portal recently, Gupta criticised the decision and called the premature release of convicts devastating to no end. Stating the release, which was given in the name of remission, is purely a threat to the cause of women's rights because it serves as a bad, and motivating example in a society where women are constantly under threat when it comes to their safety, rights, and gaining justice in a world where culprits are not held accountable.

"Bilkis became an example for other rape survivors, meaning that you can get justice ultimately even if it is a long and difficult fight. And today, she is back to worrying for her safety as her rapists are roaming free," she said.

Gupta called it a threat referring to all women who are fighting to get justice today, and all those who may undergo the same ordeal in the future. Citing an example of one of her clients, Gupta revealed that her client (a rape survivor) recently asked her what was the point of fighting the case as the culprit would be released later just like it happened in the case of Bano.


Highlighting the vital fact that the government took this step despite the CBI and the presiding judge of the trial court objecting to the premature release, Gupta criticised the verdict. She further added that the remission, which was based on good behaviour, did not qualify the convicts for the same considering they were serving the double life sentencing and their premature release was just on account of them spending 14 years in prison which, according to her, fails the very criteria.

In the end, Gupta, who seemed visibly while sharing horrid details of the experience of the case questioned, "What kind of message are we sending? Are we okay with these kinds of people roaming around freely?"

Bilkis Bano case Advocate Shobha Gupta