Supreme Court Freed Rape Convicts: In 2012, three men were sentenced to death for raping, torturing and killing a 19-year-old woman. The Supreme Court said the prosecution “failed to prove its case” against the men.
In 2014, the trial court found Ravi Kumar, Rahul, and Vinod guilty and sentenced them to death. The Delhi High Court upheld the death sentence, likening the men to “predators” hunting in the streets.
In a ruling led by Chief Justice UU Lalit, the court said the prosecution failed to prove the charges against the three men “beyond reasonable doubt” and the court acted like a “passive umpire” in convicting them.
Despite what the Supreme Court called “glaring lapses” in the trial, the prosecution failed to establish the identity of the accused.
In the trial, 10 witnesses were not cross-examined, the court noted.
In accordance with the law, courts should decide cases strictly on merit. Courts should not be influenced by outside moral pressures or otherwise.
The other two judges on the bench were Justice Ravindra Bhat and Justice Bela M Trivedi.
This incident took place months before the gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus in Delhi, which sparked nationwide protests, worldwide outrage, and sweeping changes to sexual crime laws.
Days after she was kidnapped, her mutilated and burned body was found in a field in Haryana’s Rewari district. Her severe wounds suggest that she was hit with car tools and earthen pots.
During investigations, acid was poured into the woman’s eyes and a bottle of liquor was inserted into her private parts.
In the Supreme Court, the three challenged the Delhi High Court ruling.
The Delhi Police opposed reducing the death sentence in the Supreme Court. The crime was not only committed against the victim, but also against society.
Defense lawyers argued that the convicts’ sentences should be reduced because of their age, family background, and past criminal records.
As a result of the Supreme Court verdict, the girl’s parents said they were “broken” but will continue to fight for their daughter. This is a blind justice system. We came here for justice.”
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