The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would look into a plea challenging the release of 11 men convicted of rape and murder in the Bilkis Bano case, Live Law reported.

Advocate Aparna Bhat mentioned the matter before Chief Justice NV Ramana, seeking an urgent listing on August 24.

During court proceedings, Justice Ramana asked if the convicts had been granted remission under a Supreme Court order.

“Supreme Court gave a discretion to the government to consider it,” Bhat told the chief justice. “The bench was of Justice Ajay Rastogi. We are challenging the remission, not the order of Supreme Court.”

Bilkis Bano was gangraped on March 3, 2002, during the riots in Gujarat. She was 19 and pregnant at the time. Fourteen members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter, were murdered by the rioters near Ahmedabad. One of the men snatched the girl from her mother’s arms and smashed her head on a rock.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in the 2002 riots.

The convicts were released from a Godhra jail on Monday after the Gujarat government approved their application to reduce their sentences under its remission policy.

Gujarat Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Raj Kumar had said that the government considered their remission application as the convicts had served 14 years in jail as well as due to other factors such as “age, nature of the crime, [and] behaviour in prison”.

Their release was based on the recommendation of a panel formed by the Gujarat government under the guidelines of the Supreme Court. Out of the ten members of the panel, five are office bearers in the Bharatiya Janata Party. Two of them are currently MLAs, has learnt.

The decision by the Gujarat government was also against the opinion of the Mumbai trial court that had sentenced them to life imprisonment for rape and murder. The trial court had given a “negative opinion” on the remission plea, according to a member of the jail advisory committee.