Dipak Misra, R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan
A Special Leave Petition was filed in Supreme Court against the Death Penalty awarded by High Court.
• On 16th Dec. the deceased, ‘Nirbhaya’ (not her real name), had gone with her friend to Saket to watch a movie. After the show was over, about 8:30 p.m., they took an auto and reached Munirka bus stand wherefrom they boarded a white coloured chartered bus.
• After both of them had entered the bus, they noticed that six persons were already inside the bus, four in the cabin of the driver and two behind the driver’s cabin.
• Before they could get the feeling of a safe journey (though not a time-consuming journey), a sense of danger barged in, for the accused persons did not allow anyone else to board and the bus moved and the lights inside the bus were put off.
• A few minutes later, three persons (who have been identified as accused Ram Singh, Akshay and a young boy, who has been treated as a juvenile in conflict with law) came out of the driver’s cabin and started to abuse the friend of the deceased girl.
• The young companion of the deceased raised opposition to the abuse that led to an altercation which invited the other two who were sitting outside the driver’s cabin to join.
• All of them hit the Deceased’s friend with iron rods that caused him injuries on his head. As a consequence, he fell on the floor of the bus.
• After this all the 6 accused raped the deceased one by one with utmost brutality, injuring her private body parts and she was also made a subject to unnatural sex.
• Her private parts and her internal organs were seriously injured by inserting iron rod and hand in the rectal and vaginal region.
• The Accused robbed both of them as well, took away all their belongings and threw them out of the moving bus at National Highway No. 8, Hotel Delhi 37, Mahipalpur flyover by the side of the road.
• On seeing two people lying on the road naked, the passersby informed about the incident to Police Control Room, Police reached the spot and took both of them to Safdarjung Hospital.
• After the investigation started in the case, first an FIR was registered against all the six accuse and later all of them were arrested one by one.
• On the other hand in the Hospital, the condition of the victim was deteriorating day by day. As her condition was not stable, the last statement which she recorded was submitted as Dying Declaration of the victim.
• In her declaration, she stated that the accused were addressing each other with names like, “Ram Singh, Thakur, Raju, Mukesh, Pawan and Vinay”.
• Taking into consideration the deteriorating condition of the victim, it was decided to shift her to Mt. Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, where she died on 29th Dec. 2012.
• During the course of the trial, accused Ram Singh committed Suicide and all the proceedings qua him stood abated.
• The sessions Court convicted all the other accused to Death Sentence.
• The High Court further confirmed the Death Penalty awarded by the Sessions Court.
The Appellant’s contention is related to the grievance relating to the lodging of FIR and the manner in which it has been registered has been seriously commented upon and criticized by the counsel .They stressed with all the conviction at their command that when a matter of confirmation of death penalty is assailed before the Court, it is the duty of the Court to see every aspect in detail and not to treat it as an ordinary appeal.
The Senior Counsel appearing for the respondent- State, on the other hand, has disputed the stand of the appellants as regards the discrepancies in the statement of PW-1. According to him, the evidence of PW-1 cannot be discarded on grounds which are quite specious. The circumstances in entirety are to be appreciated. He has placed reliance on the appreciation of the trial court and contended that the appreciation and analysis are absolutely impeccable.
In view of the preceding analysis, the appeal was dismissed. The Court held that the brutal, barbaric and diabolic nature of the crime was evincible from the acts committed by the accused persons. Also to be mentioned that the accused made all possible efforts in destroying the evidence by, inter alia, washing the bus and burning the clothes of the deceased and after performing the gruesome act, they divided the loot among themselves. Therefore, the decision of the High Court was confirmed and the death penalty was restored.( Ref. Para 359)