Supreme Court Upholds Death Row Inmates’ Acquittal; Reconsideration Petitions Are Rejected. A number of review petitions filed against the Supreme Court’s November 2022 decision exonerating three death-row inmates in the 2012 Chhawla gang rape and murder case were denied.
Even though the order was passed on March 2, the Apex Court only just today made it available online. None of the arguments in the group of review petitions, according to a bench consisting of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, and Justice Bela M Trivedi, had indicated any errors on the grounds on which the top court’s judgement could be sought.
According to the Court, it did not discover any factual or legal errors that were evident on the face of the record and called for a review of the aforementioned judgement rendered by this Court after carefully examining the judgement and other documents on file. The State’s claim that one of the accused had committed murder after his release from prison following the highest court’s acquittal was also rejected by the Court.
According to the review plea, the defendant is a seasoned criminal who abused the court’s leniency. The Court made it plain that even if something happened after the judgement was delivered that had nothing to do with the current case, it would not be a reason to hear review applications.
The accused kidnapped the 19-year-old woman on November 9, 2012, as she was walking home from work. On February 14, police discovered her badly mutilated body in a nearby area of Rewari, Haryana. The youngster was viciously assaulted, raped, and had acid thrown into her eyes, according to autopsy results.
A trial court described the case as “rarest of rare” in 2014, and the accused were given the death penalty. The accused subsequently went to the Delhi High Court, which on August 26, 2014, rejected their petitions and upheld the death penalty.
The accused subsequently filed a petition with the Supreme Court challenging the High Court’s ruling. The Apex Court authorised the accused’s appeals in the case and overturned earlier rulings about their conviction and sentencing.
The victim’s parents had earlier on November 5 filed a review petition, contesting the Supreme Court’s choice to clear the three defendants. They claimed that following the Supreme Court ruling, they had not only lost the war in which they had fought for their daughter’s justice but also their desire to live.
The Chawla rape and murder case or the Nikita Tomar murder case refers to the brutal murder of a 21-year-old girl named Nikita Tomar, who was shot dead by two men outside her college in the Faridabad district of Haryana on October 26, 2020. The incident was caught on camera and soon went viral on social media, leading to widespread public outrage.
According to the reports, Nikita was being stalked by one of the perpetrators, named Tausif, for several months, and had even filed a police complaint against him. On the day of the incident, Tausif along with his friend Rehan came to Nikita’s college and tried to forcefully abduct her. When Nikita resisted, Tausif shot her in the head and fled the scene with Rehan.
The incident sparked a public outcry, with people demanding swift action against the perpetrators and stricter laws to prevent such heinous crimes. The accused were soon arrested and charged under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 366 (kidnapping), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).