Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday passed an order acquitting the three men accused in the 2012 Chhawla gang rape case. The three accused were previously sentenced to death by the Delhi High Court and the trial court.
The judgment pronounced by the bench comprising Chief Justice U U Lalit and Justices Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi set aside the judgment of the Delhi High Court which convicted the three men for rape and murder of a 19-year-old girl, according to Live Law.
The three persons – Rahul, Ravi and Vinod – were accused of abducting the girl while she was returning home from her workplace on February 9, 2012. 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 that the woman's mutilated and decomposing body was found in a village in Rewari, Haryana on February 14.
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 and acid was poured in her eyes, they said.
Police arrested the three men involved in the crime and said one of the accused allegedly took revenge after the woman turned down his proposal.
The Supreme Court passed the judgment after hearing the submissions of the Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, who had sought for affirming the death penalty and amicus curia Senior Advocate Sonia Mathur who sought for reversing the same, as per Live Law.
The trial court had earlier given a death sentence to the three accused, terming the case “rarest of rare”, which was ratified by the Delhi High Court in its judgment given in August 2014.
Have lost will to live, SC has let us down: Parents of victim
"We have not just lost the battle but also the will to live," said the mother of the Chhawla gangrape victim as she broke down following the Supreme Court's decision to acquit all three accused.
The victim's father said the apex court has "let them down" and they have lost faith in the judiciary after fighting for over 11 years.
He also alleged that the system is taking advantage of their poverty.
"Even after 11 years, this is the verdict. We have lost it...We lost the battle...I was living with this hope...I have lost my will to live. I thought my daughter would get justice," the victim's mother said, breaking into tears outside the apex court premises.
The father of the victim said, "what was supposed to happen with criminals ultimately happened with us".
"The law and order system in our country is not for poor people. If this had happened with a rich influential person or a politician, would they also have faced the same fate as us?” he asked.
(With PTI, Live Law inputs)