Eleven persons, convicted in the case and had been serving jail terms, were prematurely released on August 15, 2022, following a decision by the Gujarat government.
After learning that one of the convicts is practising law after the remission, the bench said, “Can license to practice law be given after conviction? Law is supposed to be a noble profession."
Section 24A of the Advocates Act states that a person convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude cannot be enrolled as an advocate.
The bench asked why the government sought the Godhra district judge’s opinion instead of that of the Maharashtra sessions judge, who had sentenced them to rigorous life imprisonment in 2008.
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The law officer submitted the crime committed by the 11 convicts was "heinous" but does not fall in the rarest of rare category.
As a corollary, if there is public outcry, are we supposed to set aside the order (premature release)? Say it is a wrong order?”
Advocate Shobha Gupta told the top court that the CBI had opposed the premature release of the convicts in the gangrape and murder case as the crime is of such a nature that it cannot be pardoned.
The top court had earlier ordered the publication of notices in local newspapers against the convicts who could not be served notices, including the one whose house the local police found locked.