The father of the 19-year-old girl, gang-raped and murdered in Delhi's Chhawla area in 2012, moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking a review of its November 7 verdict by which it had acquitted three men, who were earlier sentenced to death.
The top court had acquitted the three men by setting aside the Delhi High Court's August 26, 2014 order upholding the death sentence awarded by the trial court.
The review plea said, “It is respectfully submitted that this Court has erred in observing that the case being purely dependent upon the circumstantial evidences, the prosecution failed to prove the circumstances beyond reasonable doubt and failed to prove the identity of the accused persons, the circumstances pertaining to the arrest of the accused persons and the seizure of the car used in the crime…”.
It said the top court has also erred in holding that the prosecution has failed to prove the circumstances pertaining to the discovery of the body of the deceased victim, the discovery and seizure of incriminating articles at the scene of the incident and from other places at the instance of accused persons, and the forensic evidence linking the accused persons with the crime.
“It is respectfully submitted that there is an error apparent on the face of record as this Court has erred in not appreciating and examining the testimonies of material witnesses which only direct towards the guilt of the accused persons/ Respondents and are incompatible with the innocence of the accused persons/ Respondents,” it said.
The father of the deceased girl said in his review plea that "grave injustice" would be caused to the victim, her parents, and the society in case the accused are allowed to walk free despite "strong circumstances" pointing towards their guilt which have been duly proved beyond reasonable doubt.
“The chain of evidence against the accused persons comprising the circumstantial evidence is complete and points towards the guilt and involvement of the accused persons...”, it said.
The plea added other evidence brought on record and testimonies of various prosecution witnesses also form a complete chain of circumstances which only point towards the guilt of the accused.
“Absence of Certificate under Section 65B only pertains to the CDRs of the deceased victim whose location is not in dispute as she was kidnapped from Tajpur, Delhi and her dead body was found in Haryana and not the CDRs of the accused persons”, the plea said.
It added no explanation was provided by the accused in relation to their location matching with the location of the deceased victim at the relevant time.
“The CDRs in the present case are substantial and important pieces of documents which clearly show the similarity in the location of the accused persons and the victim at the time of incident and ought not to be thrown out on the basis of procedural defect and that too in absence of any objection at the time of trial,” the review plea said.
It added there is no motive attributable to the investigation agency to implicate these three particular accused persons in the present case.
“In view of the facts, it is expedient in the interest of justice that the present Review Petition may be heard and allowed,” it said.
On November 7, the top court while acquitting the three convicts had said the law does not permit courts to punish an accused on the basis of moral conviction or on suspicion alone.
It had made the observation while noting that a kind of agony and frustration may be caused to the society in general and to the family of the victim in particular if the accused involved in the heinous crime go unpunished or are acquitted.
It, however, said the prosecution failed to provide leading, cogent, clinching and clear evidence, including those related to DNA profiling and call detail records (CDRs), against the accused, and said the trial court also acted as a “passive umpire”.
The three men were accused of abducting, gang-raping and brutally killing the 19-year-old woman in February 2012.
Her mutilated body was found three days after she was abducted.
In 2014, a trial court awarded death penalty to the three accused, terming the case “rarest of rare”.
According to the prosecution, the woman worked in Gurgaon's Cyber City area and belonged to Uttarakhand. She was returning from her workplace and was near her home when the three men abducted her in a car.
When she didn't return home, her parents lodged a missing person report, the prosecution said, adding the woman's mutilated and decomposing body was found in a village in Rewari, Haryana.
The police found multiple injuries on the woman's body. Further investigation and autopsy revealed she was attacked with car tools, glass bottles, metal objects, and other weapons. She was also raped, they said.
Police arrested the three men allegedly involved in the crime and claimed one of them took revenge after the woman spurned his advances.