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3 Accused Release had Triggered Questions, Delhi to Challenge SC order in Matter of 2012 Chhawla Gang Rape-Murder

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Supreme Court LAW INSIDER

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: 21 November 2022 at 19:22 IST

The Delhi government plans to appeal the Supreme Court‘s decision to release three men who had been given death sentences in the 2012 Chhawla gang rape-murder case. Vinai Kumar Saxena, the Lt Governor of Delhi, has given the go-ahead to contest the release.

The accused were found not guilty earlier this month, according to a three-judge Supreme Court bench led by former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Uday Umesh Lalit.

According to the apex court, “it is impossible to hold that the prosecution had proved the guilt of the accused by adducing cogent and clinching evidence” given the totality of the circumstances and the evidence submitted.

The conviction was overthrown more than ten years after a woman from the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand was kidnapped in Delhi and later discovered dead in a field in the Rewari district of Haryana. She had gotten off a bus on February 9, 2012, around ten minutes from her home in Chhawla Camp in the capital. The woman was walking home with two pals while employed by a private company in Gurugram’s Cyber City when she was kidnapped by males in a car.

Days later, her body was found with several wounds and burn scars. The autopsy report highlighted the use of automobile tools, glass bottles, and sharp metal objects in the attack. The three defendants, Ravi and Vinod, were found guilty and given death sentences by a city court on February 19, 2014.

On August 26 of same year, the Delhi High Court confirmed the decision of the trial court, pointing out the brutality of the body’s mutilation both before and after the woman was abducted and raped, and referred to the accused as “trained blood hounds picking out a smell.”

Pushkar Singh Dhami, the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, was one of those who had just opposed to the Supreme Court’s ruling. According to him, he told Union law minister Kiren Rijiju that justice will be served to the victim and her family. “We will do all in our power to see that the victim receives justice since she is the daughter of our nation,”