Chhawla gangrape: SC agrees to set up new bench to review plea after freed man commits murder
CJI Chandrachud said it will constitute a bench of himself and Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi to hear the review plea.
Published: 08th February 2023 11:35 AM | Last Updated: 08th February 2023 12:14 PM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to constitute a three-judge bench to hear a plea seeking a review of its ruling of acquitting three death row convicts in the 2012 Chhawla gang rape and murder case.
The bench will comprise CJI DY Chandrachud and Justices Ravindra Bhatt and Bela M Trivedi (who were part of the bench that had acquitted the death row convicts).
Pointing out the fact that one of the convicts pursuant to acquittal murdered an auto driver on January 26, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for the Delhi police urged the bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud to consider listing the plea in open court.
“An 18-year-old girl was kidnapped, gang-raped, murdered and mutilated. The trial court & HC gave the death penalty but this court gave acquittal. Now one of the accused has slit the throat of an auto driver after being released. On January 26, one of the accused slit the throat of someone else. We would wish your lordships to consider the review. There are additional points. Request to list the review in open court,” Mehta said.
“I’ll comprise a bench of myself and Justices Ravindra Bhat and Bela Trivedi. I’ll talk to my colleagues,” CJI DY Chandrachud said.
The convicts were acquitted by a bench of former CJI UU Lalit, Justices SR Bhat and Bela M Trivedi on November 7 on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove charges.
The court had observed that the prosecution has to bring home the charges levelled against them beyond a reasonable doubt, which the prosecution had failed to do so.
“It may be true that if the accused involved in the heinous crime go unpunished or are acquitted, a kind of agony and frustration may be caused to the society in general and to the family of the victim in particular, however, the law does not permit the courts to punish the accused on the basis of moral conviction or on suspicion alone,” the SC had said.
Centre’s plea states that the chain of evidence so far had pinpointed to the guilt of the accused. “Medical evidence and scientific report conclusively prove the culpability of the accused. The circumstantial evidence in the present case is so cogent that it leaves no ground for reasonable doubt,” the plea also states.
It has also been argued that the court has failed to appreciate the medical and scientific evidence on record which is prima facie sufficient to prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. There is no iota of fount with regards to medical evidence against the accused.
Apart from Delhi police, review pleas have also been filed by Yogita Bhawana and the victim’s father. It has been argued in the pleas that the chain of evidence so far had pinpointed the guilt of the accused.
“Medical evidence and scientific report conclusively prove the culpability of accused. The circumstantial evidence in the present case is so cogent that it leaves no ground for reasonable doubt,” the pleas also state.