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Bilkis Bano case: SC says convicts must report back to jail authorities within 2 weeks


New Delhi, Jan 8: The Supreme Court on Monday said that the convicts in Bilkis Bano case must report back to concerned jail authorities within a period of two weeks.

A bench of Justices B.V. Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan said that the plea of protection of liberty of convicts cannot be accepted and the “natural consequences” of setting aside remission orders must follow.

“We think that a person is entitled to protection of his liberty only in accordance with law. When a person’s liberty cannot be violated in breach of law, can a person’s liberty be protected in the face of a breach or violation of law?

“In upholding rule of law, are we depriving respondents (convicts) the right to freedom and liberty? We wish to make it clear that only when rule of law prevails, liberty and other fundamental rights would prevail in our constitution,” the bench said.

The top court quashed the decision passed by the Gujarat government setting free convicts under the state’s remission policy on August 15, 2022 in the case of Bano’s gang rape and murder of her family members committed during the 2002 state riots.