Monday, 30 January, 2023
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After 3 acquitted in Chhawla gangrape-murder case, top govt lawyer writes to MHA urging ‘review’

SC had Monday acquitted 3 convicts who were awarded death penalty in 2014. ASG Aishwarya Bhati contends 'all limbs of evidence' show crime was committed by accused and none other.

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New Delhi: Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati Tuesday wrote to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) giving an opinion that the Delhi Police must seek a review of the Supreme Court’s decision acquitting the three men facing death in a 2012 gangrape and murder case reported from Delhi’s Chhawla area.

On Monday, a bench headed by then Chief Justice of India (CJI) U.U. Lalit gave the accused — Rahul, Ravi and Vinod — the “benefit of the doubt” in the case. The apex court had noted that the trial in the lower court was riddled with “many glaring lapses”.

Bhati said that all the ‘limbs of evidence’ — related to kidnapping of the deceased, medical evidence about 16 brutal anti-mortem and 8 post-mortem injuries as well as the expert opinion of the doctors, the DNA analysis that conclusively connected all three accused to the crime, recoveries of material objects from the accused and their direct connection with the crime, especially the car in which the crime was partially committed and mobile phone locations of the deceased and the accused — show that the crime was committed by the trio and none other.

“Review Petitions must be immediately preferred by the State for review of the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court pointing out the glaring errors that are apparent on the face of the record in the judgement by which the Appellants have been completely acquitted of the offence,” the letter, a copy of which is with ThePrint, said.

She also stated that the “direct and circumstantial evidence, available in the case, is substantial and sufficient for the purpose of upholding the conviction and sentence of the accused persons”.

The minor infirmities, which exist in the investigation and trial, “does not dent the requirement of proof of offence beyond the shadow of reasonable doubt, as settled by the principles of criminal jurisprudence in our country”, the senior law officer said.

While officials in the MHA confirmed having received the ASG’s opinion, sources in the Delhi Police said that it was being “processed”.

The trio of Rahul, Ravi and Vinod are accused of abducting, gangraping and brutally killing the 19-year-old woman in February 2012. Her mutilated body was found three days after she was abducted. In 2014, a trial court had handed death penalty to the three, terming the case “rarest-of-rare”.

(Edited by Tony Rai)


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