Chhawla Gang Rape: Supreme Court Reserves Judgment In Appeal Against Death Sentence
The Supreme Court today reserved its judgment in the appeal against the death sentence awarded to the three accused in the Chhawla Gang Rape Case.
The Court was hearing the appeal arising out of the 2012 Chhawla Gang Rape Case where a 17 years old girl was gang-raped and murdered by three persons Rahul, Ravi and Vinod. The trial court had sentenced the three to death and the same was upheld by the Delhi High Court.
Senior Advocate Sonia Mathur, appearing as an amicus curie, submitted that there is scope for reformation of the accused. She said that one of the accused Vinod is suffering from intellectual disability and pleaded that a sympathetic approach should be taken.
The Bench comprising of Justice U. U. Lalit, Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat pointed out that a rod was used by the accused.
The Counsel for the accused submitted that the injuries were also not grave. The amicus curiae apprised the Court of the situation of the accused in jail and about the intellectual disability of an accused.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the state, supported the sentence awarded to the accused. She submitted that there were 16 brutal injuries to the victim and 10 injuries were inflicted after death. "This shows complete disregard to the body," she said.
The ASG said, "These are the things that curtail the minds of the parents in the society and they clip the wings of their daughters. The manner of crime of Nirbhaya and this is uncanny in the resemblance".
The father of the victim was present in the Court and wanted to make submissions before the Court. However, the Bench refused permission saying that he will bring the emotive part into the case, which cannot be allowed.
"If he is being represented by a counsel, he can make arguments on the points of law", the Court said.
Parties filed their written submissions and the Bench reserved the case for judgment.
The Delhi High Court had earlier dismissed the appeal filed by the three accused in the matter and upheld the death sentence awarded by the trial court. The Delhi High Court while upholding the sentence had stated that "we cannot ignore that in a rarest of rare case where the crime and the criminal test are satisfied, sentence of death can be inflicted for a violent rape followed by murder and specially when the accused have acted as predators, have snatched a member of the society from the society to commit the crime. Having committed the crime the predators have defiled the body of the victim. Society has to be protected. It cannot be forgotten that punishment is a moral sanction by the society, not merely a penalty such as a parking fine, which may be imposed without the moral weight of a finding of criminal responsibility."
On February 9, 2012, the victim was abducted while returning home along with her friends. A message was flashed over the wireless to all police stations and the patrolling vans in Delhi in the hope that the red indica car of the abductors would be intercepted, but no headway was made.
One of the accused Rahul was stopped while driving a red car on February 13th. He could not produce any driving licence and was taken to custody since he was visibly perplexed, where he confessed about the crime and the other two accused.
The Trial Court convicted all the three accused under Sections 302, 376(2)(g), 365, 367 and 201 Indian Penal Code read with Section 34 Indian Penal Code and the three were sentenced to death.