Supreme Court: Justice Bela M Trivedi has recused herself from hearing Bilkis Bano’s plea challenging the release of 11 men convicted for her gangrape during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Bilkis Bano was 21 years old and five months pregnant when she was gangraped. She saw 14 of her family members being killed, including her 3-year-old daughter, in the 2002 Gujarat riots that broke out after the Godhra train burning.
When on August 15, 2022, her rapists walked out of the prison after serving 15 years’ imprisonment based on Gujarat Government’s remission policy, Bilkis Bano found herself “bereft of words” and “numb”.
Consequently, in August, the 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, CJ and Ajay Rastogi and Vikram Nath, JJ had issued notice to the Gujarat Government in the matter and had also directed that the 11 released men be impleaded as parties in the plea challenging the decision of the Gujarat Government. [2022 SCC OnLine SC 1083]
The matter was then placed before the bench of Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi, JJ. The matter is now to be listed before a Bench of which Justice Bela M. Trivedi is not a member.
Justice Trivedi, who hails from Gujarat, served as the Law Secretary of the Gujarat State Government between 2004 to 2006.
[Bilkis Yakub Rasul v. Union of India, Writ Petition(s)(Criminal) No(s). 491/2022, order dated 13.12.2022]
Bilkis Bano’s Image courtesy: Jan Jwar