NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today relied on the dying declaration of the December 16 gangrape victim besides the testimony of a carpenter to bring home the charge of criminal conspiracy against four convicts.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said that "the chain of events described by the prosecutrix in her dying declarations, coupled with the testimonies of the other witnesses (carpenter and owner of bus) clearly establish that as soon as the informant (victim's male friend) and the victim boarded the bus, the accused persons formed an agreement to commit heinous offences against the victim".
The carpenter, who was robbed by the four convicts ahead of committing gangrape and murder of the victim, was produced by the police to prove their presence in the bus.
The bench, also comprising Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, said the acts of "forcefully having sexual intercourse with the victim, one after the other, inserting iron rod in her private parts, dragging her by her hair and then throwing her out of the bus all establish the common intent of the accused to rape and murder the victim".
The apex court said the woman has also maintained in her dying declaration that the accused persons were shouting that she had died and her body should be thrown out of the bus.
"Ultimately, both the prosecutrix as well as informant were thrown out of the moving bus through the front door by the accused after having failed to throw them through the rear door.
"The conduct of the accused in committing heinous offences with the prosecutrix in concert with each other and thereafter throwing her out of the bus in an unconscious state alongwith her friend unequivocally bring home the charge under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) in case of each of them", it said.
The court said the criminal acts done in furtherance of the conspiracy is evident from the acts and also the words uttered during the commission of the offence.
"Therefore, we do not have the slightest hesitation in holding that the trial court and the High Court have correctly considered the entire case on the touchstone of well- recognised principles for arriving at the conclusion of criminal conspiracy," it said.
The apex court further said the prosecution has been able to "unfurl the case" relating to criminal conspiracy by materials on record and connecting the chain of circumstances.
"The relevant evidence on record lead to a singular conclusion that the accused persons are liable for criminal conspiracy and their confessions to counter the same deserve to be repelled," it said.