Ministry result

Home Office ‘allowed’ postponement of Bilkis case for gang rape, murder convicts: Vrinda Grover

Vrinda Grover, Home Minister Amit Shah

By our representative
Leading Supreme Court lawyer Vrinda Grover has accused the Indian government’s Home Ministry of granting the controversial pardon granted to 11 gang rape and murder convicts in the Bilkis Bano case on August 15. Speaking in Ahmedabad to Gujarat activists gathered for a conference in memory of well-known State High Court lawyer Girish Patel, she said: “It is mandatory for the central government to approve the surrender .”
Grover, a human rights lawyer, said there was “radio silence” from the Indian government on granting a reduced sentence, despite so much noise around him. However, the very fact that the committee appointed by the government of Gujarat to grant the handover is legally required to take the approval of the central government suggests that without the central government’s approval the handover would not have taken place.
“Therefore, I assume that the agreement of the Ministry of the Interior has been taken”, underlined Grover, regretting however that “no document has been made public on the process of surrender”, which she described. as part of “the impunity of a majority criminal, prison state”. This suggests a pattern in India. Human rights activists are imprisoned. They are cut off from the victims of state oppression. The case Bhima Koregaon and the recent arrests of Teesta Setalvad and RB Srikumar suggest just that, she said.
Stating that there is controversy surrounding the 1992 policy under which the state government allowed the 11 convicts to be released after 15 years in prison, she said: ‘This policy also requires the notice of CBI Justice UD Salve (retired) sentencing judge, who sentenced all 11 defendants to life imprisonment in 2008. Salve said he said his advice was not followed. She added that the Indian government’s recent remission policy does not release those convicted of murder and gang rape.
Quoting an Indian Express report, she said, already one can see the impact of the decision to release those convicted of murder and gang rape. Muslims in Randhikpur, the village of Bilkis Bano, are fleeing their residence, suggesting “the impunity of the majority state”. Praising Bilkis Bano and her husband for resisting the powerful majority state despite their illiteracy, she praised the civil rights organization and unnamed activists (Social Justice Center, Gagan Sethi) for supporting her throughout his ordeal.