Justice Bela Trivedi of the Supreme Court withdrew on Tuesday from hearing Bilkis Bano’s appeal against the early release of 11 men who had been found guilty of rape and murder.
The first hearing for the writ suit filed by Bilkis Bano was scheduled before a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bel Trivedi. When the subject was brought up, the bench ordered that Justice Trivedi’s case be heard by a different bench.
However, Bilkis Bano’s attorney, Shobha Gupta, stated that their situation is complicated by the fact that the Supreme Court is about to take a winter break.
The bench responded that the counter affidavit had already been filed and that the court had already taken cognizance of the case. The bench was referring to a group of appeals that are currently being handled by a bench led by Justice Ajay Rastogi and are still pending before the SC.
When a bench led by former CJI NV Ramana heard the case on August 25 of this year, the court issued notice on the first petition.
The Gujarat government had submitted an affidavit to the SC in these petitions stating that these 11 convicts had been released after serving a 14-year sentence in good standing and with the agreement of the Central government.
Additionally, Bilkis Bano submitted a review petition asking the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling from May 2022.
Today, that case was also listed in chambers before Justices Ajay Rastogi and Vikram Nath.