Chhawla Rape Case| Supreme Court dismisses review pleas, affirms acquittal of convicts

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The three accused had allegedly abducted the girl while she was returning home from her work place on 9th February 2012. Later, her body was found mutilated, near Rewari in Haryana with multiple wounds.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the review petitions filed against the acquittal of the three persons who were sentenced to death for the gang-rape and murder of a 19-year-old girl in Delhi’s Chhawla area in 2012.

A bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud with Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi dismissed the review petitions filed by the Delhi Police and the victim's parents while observing that, "After having considered the judgment and other documents on record, we do not find any error either factual or legal, apparent on the face of record requiring review ofthe aforestated judgment passed by this Court".

Delhi Police in the review plea had stated that one of the accused named Vinod got involved in a murder case after his release from the jail.

In this regard, the Court said that, "Even if an event, which has no nexus to the instant case had taken place subsequent to the pronouncement of the judgment that would not be a ground to entertain the review petitions."

In November last year, a plea challenging the Supreme Court’s judgment and order acquitting the three accused was approved by Delhi LG, VK Saxena.

The matter involved the gruesome rape and murder of a 19-year old girl on 9-02-2012 at Chhawla, Dwarka, Delhi. The three accused were convicted and awarded death sentence by the Trial Court, which was subsequently upheld by the Delhi High Court.

The release of two of the three prisoners from Rohini Jail recently, following acquittal had prompted the parents of the murdered girl to seek police protection out of fear.

While setting aside the judgments and orders of conviction and sentence passed by the Trial Court and the High Court, and acquitting the three accused from all the charges, the Top Court had noted, “…material witnesses examined by the prosecution having not been either cross-examined or adequately examined, and the trial court also having acted as a passive umpire, we find that the Appellants-accused were deprived of their rights to have a fair trial, apart from the fact that the truth also could not be elicited by the trial court. We leave it to the wisdom and discretion of the trial courts to exercise their powers under Section 165 of the Indian Evidence Act for eliciting the truth in the cases before them, howsoever heinous or otherwise they may be”.

Case Title: The State of Delhi vs. Rahul and Anr