Supreme Court reserves order on rape convicts' appeal in Chhawla gang-rape case

The Supreme Court has reserved its order on an appeal by three rape convicts against the Delhi High Court order which affirmed the death penalty imposed upon them for the gang rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl while stating it's the rarest of rare cases where these predators have defiled the body of the victim.

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati demanded the dismissal of their appeal and confirmation of their death penalty.

Senior Advocate Sonia Mathur, the Amicus Curiae in the case, urged the judges at the stage of sentencing, to consider the possibility of reformation for one convict, Vinod , who was suffering from intellectual disability and couldn't think straight. The senior counsel urged the court to adopt a sympathetic attitude /approach for the said convict.

The bench of Justices Uday Umesh Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat & Bela M. Trivedi has observed,

"As per the prosecution, Rahul, Ravi and Vinod were the men who had brutally extinguished the life of Anamica (name changed) after raping her. They had thereafter used the spanner of the car after heating it to burn the right nipple of Anamica and brand her umbilicus, a fact evidenced from injuries No.15 to 17 recorded in the post-mortem report, all of which are post-mortem injuries."

The Delhi High Court in its August 26, 2014 judgment dismissed the criminal appeals filed by the convicts and had affirmed the death sentence upon them. The Court had narrated the horrifying brutal rape and murder in its judgement.

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The Delhi High Court had said,

“From the injuries caused to Anamica (fictional name) which led to her death, it is apparent that the duration of her physical suffering was prolonged, and accused intended to traumatise the victim emotionally, maximising terror through humiliation all for experiencing pleasure of the criminal action and the pain and suffering of Anamica and benefit from the excitement of the criminal act.”

The Delhi High Court narrated the incident,

“Anamica's (name changed) life of 17 years had seen their moments of drama and incidents. She had never before woken up in the knowledge that on February 9, 2012 her life would have a horrific end. She awoke in the morning of February 9, 2012, with the sun smiling on the windowpane of her room. The yawns were as loud and deep as of all inhabitants of spaceship earth. Finishing her daily chores and returning home at about 8:45 PM in the company of her friends Pooja, Sangeeta and Saraswati, chatting and gossiping, a red Indica car screeched to a halt near them and the door flew open. There was no near-miss. An unknown male slammed into Anamica knocking her off her feet and catapulting her into the car, arms windmilling, towards the void beyond life in a few hours thereafter.”

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The three have been convicted for offences punishable under Sections 302, 376(2)(g), 365, 367 and 201 IPC read with Section 34 IPC. Vide order dated February 19, 2014 the three have been sentenced to death for having murdered the victim. For having kidnapped her, they were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for five years, for the offence of raping her, they have been sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life, for kidnapping her and subjecting her to grievous hurt, they were sentenced to undergo imprisonment for five years. For the offence of destroying evidence pertaining to the offence, they have been sentenced to undergo imprisonment for three years.

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