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2012 Chhawla gang-rape-murder: SC to consider listing plea seeking review of verdict acquitting 3

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will take a call on listing for hearing a plea seeking review of its November 7 verdict acquitting three death row convicts for gang-raping and killing a 19-year-old girl in Delhi’s Chhawla area in 2012. A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala took note of the submissions of a lawyer that the review plea be listed for hearing.

“This is an extremely important case which has shaken the public confidence. Needs to be listed urgently,” the lawyer said.

“I will take a call after going through it,” the CJI said.

The top court, on November 7, had acquitted the three men by setting aside the Delhi High Court’s August 26, 2014 order upholding the death sentence awarded by the trial court. Several pleas seeking review of the apex court verdict have been filed recently.
The father of the teenager has also moved the top court through lawyer Rohit Dandriyal seeking review of the judgement acquitting the convicts of charges.

On November 7, the top court while acquitting the three convicts had said the law does not permit courts to punish an accused on the basis of moral conviction or on suspicion alone.

It had made the observation while noting that a kind of agony and frustration may be caused to the society in general and to the family of the victim in particular if the accused involved in the heinous crime go unpunished or are acquitted.

It, however, said the prosecution failed to provide leading, cogent, clinching and clear evidence, including those related to DNA profiling and call detail records (CDRs), against the accused, and said the trial court also acted as a “passive umpire”.

The three men were accused of abducting, gang-raping 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 awarded death penalty to the three accused, terming the case “rarest of rare”.

According to the prosecution, the woman worked in Gurgaon’s Cyber City area and belonged to Uttarakhand. She was returning from her workplace and was near her home when the three men abducted her in a car.

When she didn’t return home, her parents lodged a missing person report, the prosecution said, adding the woman’s mutilated and decomposing body was found in a village in Rewari, Haryana.

The police found multiple injuries on the woman’s body. Further investigation and autopsy revealed she was attacked with car tools, glass bottles, metal objects, and other weapons. She was also raped, they said.

Police arrested the three men allegedly involved in the crime and claimed one of them took revenge after the woman spurned his advances.

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