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Probe, evidence that nailed the accused in December 16, 2012, Delhi gangrape case

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the death sentence for three of the four convicts in the December 16, 2012, Delhi gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old woman, observing that no grounds were made out for the review of the verdict.

delhi Updated: Jul 10, 2018 10:29 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi gangrape case verdict,December 16 gangrape verdict,gangrape verdict sc
The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of three of the four convicts in the Dec 16, 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on July 9, 2018. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Holding that there was no perversity in the judgment delivered by the earlier bench of the Supreme Court in convicting the accused of the December 16, 2012 gangrape, the three-judge constitution bench dismissed the review petition of the convicts on Monday.

Following is the evidence given by the SC last year while upholding the death penalty awarded to the convicts by the Delhi high court.

Victim’s friend

Prosecution: The convicts beat him up with the same iron rod that was inserted in the victim’s vagina. He and the victim were thrown out of the moving bus.

Defence: It said the statement was unreliable. They pointed to inconsistencies in his statement with regard to number of assailants, description of the bus and identity of accused. He was a planted witness, the defence claimed.

Court: Said the evidence of the witness was unimpeachable and found no merit in the defence argument. It said the statement can’t be disbelieved simply because there were certain omissions.

Dying Declaration

Prosecution:Three dying declarations of the victim were recorded, with the last one being in gestures. Police maintained all the three were at the victim’s instance,consistent and corroborated by medical evidence.

Defence: Dying declarations were contrived and should not be considered because they do not inspire confidence.They varied from each other, clearly revealing the inconsistencies. It was involuntary and unreliable.

Court: Held insignificant errors were inconsequential because the prosecution produced cogent evidence to prove its case.

Use of iron rod

Prosecution: Brutal form of rape and the act was inhumane. The iron rod was pushed into the victim’s vagina and internal organs pulled out. This caused grievous internal injuries, resulting in her death.

Defence: Fabricated story only to falsely implicate the accused. Lawyers disputed the use of iron rods claim on the ground that the victim and her friend did not mention about the use of iron rods in their first statements.

Court: Discarded the defence argument. Said the victim was rushed to the hospital in a traumatized state with grievous injuries, she was cold and clammy and had lost a lot of blood. Her subsequent dying declaration, corroborated by medical evidence, proved the accused had used iron rod. DNA profile developed from the bloodstains from the rod showed it had the victim’s blood. The rod was recovered at the instance of the accused Ram Singh–who died within few months of the incident while he was lodged in Tihar Jjail.

DNA Analysis

Prosecution: For the police, DNA profiling of the accused was the most crucial evidence to link them with the crime. Samples were lifted from the victim’s body, the complainant, the accused, clothes dumped at the spot, iron rod, ashes of partly burnt clothes and the bus to establish the incident.

Defence: Challenged the DNA test and argued it cannot be treated to be accurate.

Court: Calling it a strong piece of evidence, the court said DNA analysis had cogently linked each of the accused with the victims as also with the crime scene.

Odontology Report

Prosecution: Relied heavily on odontology test, a branch of forensic science in which dental knowledge is applied to assist the criminal justice delivery system. Bite marks lifted from the victim’s body were compared with the dental models of the suspect to establish their involvement.

Defence: Contended the whole thing was stage-managed.

Court: Found odontology report credible because of matching of bitemarks with the tooth structure of the accused. Said there was no reason to view the same with any suspicion.

Criminal Conspiracy

Prosecution: All four had executed a conspiracy to gangrape and then kill the victim.

Defence: Denied the charges. Said there was no prior meeting of the accused to hatch the conspiracy.

Court: It was established the accused were associated with each other. Police proved the charges of conspiracy.

Recovery of the bus

Prosecution: Provided CCTV footage to prove the bus route. The footage was taken from a hotel in Mahipalpur, which was near the crime spot.

Defence: Alleged the police had fabricated the evidence.

Court: Held the CCTV footage was not tampered with. There was no reason or justification to doubt the footage.

First Published: Jul 10, 2018 10:29 IST