The Gujarat government has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against the January 8 judgement in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case saying that some of the remarks made in the verdict about the State were “highly unwarranted”, reported Bar and Bench.

On January 8, the Supreme Court quashed the Gujarat government order that granted remission to 11 men convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for gangraping Bilkis Bano and murdering 14 members of her family during the 2002 communal riots in the State.

The judges held that the Supreme Court’s order in May 2022 directing the Gujarat government to decide the remission was secured by suppressing facts and fraud played on the court. Radheshyam Shah, one of the convicts, had suppressed material facts to get a favourable order, which led to the release of all convicts, the court had said.

Justice Nagarathna had stated that the Gujarat government did not have the power to pass the remission order. The government of the state where the trial had taken place, which in this case is Maharashtra, is the appropriate authority that can pass such orders as per Section 432 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Nagarathna held.

The Gujarat government’s review petition argues that the top court’s observation that the state of Gujarat “acted in tandem and was complicit with accused” has caused great prejudice to the State, according to Bar and Bench.

The government has sought the removal of remarks against the State, arguing that it had only acted as per the Supreme Court judgement of May 2022.

Holding the state of Gujarat guilty of “usurpation of power” and “abuse of discretion” in its order “is an error apparent on the face of the record”, the review petition contended, reported The Indian Express.

The Gujarat government has also argued that it had told the Supreme Court and the Gujarat High Court that the Maharashtra government was the competent authority to decide the remission plea.

Also read: ‘Act of fraud’: Why Supreme Court sent Bilkis Bano case gangrape-murder convicts back to jail