Chhawala Case

Unless Guilt Established, Circumstantial Evidence Theory Not Accepted: Chhawala Case

Amid the public outrage over the acquittal of three accused in the Chhawala rape and murder case, former Chief Justice of India UU Lalit on Sunday said unless and until that guilt is completely established, circumstantial evidence case theory is not to be accepted.

Speaking to ANI, Justice Lalit said, “The element was purely based on circumstantial evidence. Law is clear that facts must point only in direction of the guilt of that man, unless and until that guilt is completely established, circumstantial evidence case theory is not to be accepted.”
On the public outcry on his judgment in the Chhawala rape case, Justice Lalit said the law is that the chain must get completed.

“There were actually no circumstances that could point in their direction conclusively. The law is that the chain must get complete, it is on account that the benefit of the doubt must flow in that direction,” added the former CJI.

The Supreme Court on Monday set aside the Delhi High Court order and acquitted three men who were awarded the death penalty by a lower court after being held guilty of raping and killing a 19-year-old woman in Delhi’s Chhawala area in 2012.

A bench of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat, and Bela M Trivedi set aside the judgments and orders of conviction and sentence passed by the trial court and the High Court in the case.

The court gave the accused a benefit of the doubt and directed to set free the accused forthwith if not required in any other case.

However, the court also directed that the parents of the victim would be entitled to the compensation, if not awarded so far by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority, as may be permissible in accordance with the law.

“Every case has to be decided by the Courts strictly on merits and in accordance with the law without being influenced by any kind of outside moral pressures or otherwise,” the top court remarked.

Three men had moved the top court against capital punishment for the rape and murder of a 19-year-old girl in Delhi’s Chhawala.

The three convicts were awarded the death penalty after being held guilty of raping and killing a 19-year-old woman in 2012. The victim’s mutilated body was found in a field with multiple injuries due to assault with objects ranging from car tools to earthen pots.

A Delhi court in February 2014 convicted them. The capital punishment was confirmed by the Delhi High Court on August 26, 2014, saying they were “predators” moving on the streets and “were looking for prey”.

Three men, Ravi Kumar, Rahul, and Vinod were convicted under various charges dealing with kidnapping, rape, and murder.

The three convicts have challenged the Delhi High Court order in the Supreme Court.

A case was registered regarding this at outer Delhi’s Chhawala (Najafgarh) police station.

According to the prosecution, the offense was barbaric in nature as they first kidnapped the woman, raped her, killed her, and dumped her body in a field in Rodhai village in Haryana’s Rewari district.

“The woman was kidnapped by the three men in a car from near her house in the Qutub Vihar area on the night of February 9, 2012, while she was returning from office,” the prosecution had said.

The prosecution had also revealed multiple injuries on the woman’s head and other parts of her body and said that the three men had assaulted the woman with a car jack and an earthen pot. The crime was committed by Ravi Kumar with the help of the other two accused as the girl has refused the friendship proposal of Ravi Kumar, the prosecution had alleged. (ANI)

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Air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

SC To Hear On Nov 10 Plea On Worsening Air Pollution In Delhi-NCR

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on November 10 a plea seeking measures to curb worsening air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

A bench of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and Bela M Trivedi posted the case for hearing on November 10 after an advocate mentioned the matter for urgent hearing.
Advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha, who filed the plea, told the bench that stubble burning has increased in Punjab.

“Parali burning has increased in Punjab. Even normal people can’t walk in such a situation,” Jha argued.

The plea sought direction to summon Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh and directed them to personally take responsibility for no case of stubble burning anywhere.

It sought direction for issuing fresh guidelines to all the States with respect to stubble burning. The plea asked to issue guidelines to each and every State to take necessary measures in order to reduce pollution including the installation of smog towers, plantation drives, affordable public transport, etc.

“Public at large is forced to inhale polluted air and the oxygen filled with smog. Despite the clear orders of this Court to stop stubble burning and construction causing air pollution, there is rampant pollution in the National Capital Territory and other places making it difficult for people to survive,” said the plea adding that the situation is directly against the Right to life of people at large.

The petition said the AQI level on November 3 has been between 440 to 460 across Delhi which as per various sources “affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing diseases”.

An AQI of 400 or higher is considered “severe,” and it can affect both healthy people and those who already have illnesses, it said.

It sought direction for appointing a high-level committee under the chairmanship of a retired Supreme Court judge to tackle the air-pollution crisis due to stubble burning.

The plea further urged that the schools, colleges, government, and private offices go virtual/online in order to protect the life of people at large.

The advocate said that the pollution is caused because states like Punjab have failed to provide an alternative to the farmers against stubble burning.to control pollution. (ANI)

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