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SC must undo Justice

  • Published
    29th Aug, 2022

Context:

The Supreme Court (SC) issued a notice in a petition challenging the remission of the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.

Background:

  • In 2003, Bano approached the Supreme Court about the mass murder of her family members and her own gang rape during the widespread communal violence.
  • The SC transferred the trial of the accused in the Bilkis Bano case to Maharashtra.
  • All of them, now set free, was found guilty and convicted.
  • Recently the Gujrat government granted remission to the convicts after the completion of 14 years and five months of their sentence.

Crime against Humanity:

  • The crimes committed against Bilkis Bano would count as crimes against humanity, as they were committed during a period of communal violence against a minority community. The SC has now issued a notice and a PIL by concerned citizens is calling for a quashing of the order of remission.
  • Rome statute is which deals with crimes against humanity. There is a clear indication that such convicts can be granted a sentence of up to 30 years, depending on the context in which the crime occurs. Although India is not a party to the Rome statute, but it does not free any nation-state to prosecute and punish crimes against humanity.
  • Rape is regarded as “an impact crime”. Such a crime is committed not only against the person but also against the community she represents. It’s a message to the community as a whole and sends waves of everlasting fear through it. The message here was clear, this is revenge on you for being a member of the minority community.
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