Delhi To Challenge Supreme Court Order To Free 3 Rape-Murder Convicts

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Chhawla Rape Case: The Supreme Court had freed the three men last week. (File)

New Delhi:

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government will challenge the Supreme Court’s order acquitting three convicts in a 2012 gangrape and murder case.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena this morning approved the filing of a review petition in the Supreme Court challenging the acquittal of the three men, days after the victim’s parents met him saying they were “broken” by the judgment.

They had also sought police protection out of fear. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati will represent the Delhi government in the case.

The three men were accused of abducting, raping and killing the 19-year-old woman in February 2012 in Delhi’s Chhawla, months before the Nirbhaya case. Her body was recovered from a field in Haryana three days later with multiple injuries. Severe wounds suggested that she was hit with car tools and earthen pots.

A Delhi court in February 2014 had convicted the accused and awarded them the death penalty. The capital punishment was confirmed by the Delhi High Court on August 26 2014, saying they were “predators” moving on the streets and “were looking for prey”.

They challenged the high court ruling in Supreme Court, asking that their sentence be reduced. The bench of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi on November 7 cancelled the High Court ruling, noting the prosecution failed to provide “leading, cogent, clinching and clear evidence against the accused”.

In the Supreme Court, the Delhi Police cited the heinous nature of the crime and argued against any concession whatsoever to the convicts.

The lawyers of the convicts pleaded to the Supreme Court against the death sentence and cited their age, family background and past criminal record to press for a reduction in sentence.

Following the Supreme Court verdict, the parents of the girl said they were disappointed. “We will continue our legal fight,” the girl’s father said, recounting their 12-year struggle for justice.



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