Feb 2024

Great Cases Series | Discussion 1: Bilkis Bano Case

Thursday, 22 Feb 2024, 6:00 pm-Thursday, 22 Feb 2024, 7:00 pm


Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy in collaboration with the India International Centre is hosting a series ‘The Working of the Indian Constitution: Stories and Scholarship’. As a part of this initiative, every month Vidhi will be hosting the ‘Great Cases’ series, which aims to foster in-depth discussions on landmark rulings that have profoundly shaped the Indian Constitution. Each session will feature legal professionals – offering their unique perspectives on the ruling. 

We will be inviting members of the legal fraternity to speak to the audiences (a mix of people from the legal field, students, media, and related professionals) to talk about great cases that have left an indelible impression on the Indian legal system. 


The first discussion of the series will be on the Bilkis Bano Case and will be held with Advocate Shobha Gupta, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India in conversation with Naveed Mehmood Ahmad, Team Lead, Criminal Justice, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy. The discussion will focus on the recent Supreme Court decision quashing the order of en masse remission granted by the State of Gujarat in August 2022 to 11 men sentenced to life imprisonment for the gang-rape of Bilkis Bano and murder of her family, including a two-month-old infant during the 2002 riots. 

Advocate Shobha Gupta is an Advocate-on-Record. She has been practising for 24 years at the Supreme Court of India, the High Court of Delhi. She has founded the Free Legal Aid Group to provide free legal aid to juveniles detained on being found on the wrong side of the law, and  ‘We The Women of India’ to raise awareness for women’s human rights. 

Since 2004, she has been fighting the Bilkis Bano case.  Due to her efforts, in 2019, the Supreme Court of India granted Bilkis Bano the highest ever compensation in an Indian rape case.  

Naveed Mehmood Ahmad is a Team Lead for Vidhi’s Criminal Justice Team. His work focuses on decriminalisation of India’s legislative landscape and reimagining India’s approach towards Crime & Punishment. Previously, Naveed has worked on criminalisation of drug use and evaluated the government response to increasing violence against women. Naveed holds an undergraduate degree in law from National University of Law, Punjab and a Masters in Law from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.