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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Delhi Court Notice Tihar Jail

8 Lakh Views To India’s First Live-Streaming Of SC

In a landmark moment in the history of the Indian judiciary, the Supreme Court on Tuesday live-streamed on YouTube its proceedings for the public to watch.

The proceedings were watched by more than eight lakh viewers.
This step will go a long way in overcoming the barriers of distance and will provide citizens from every nook and corner of the country opportunity to watch the Supreme Court proceedings, said a statement issued by the Supreme Court.

It further stated that this is a humble beginning and the “attempts will now be made to live-stream proceedings in all important matters” until live-streaming of proceedings becomes the order of the day.

“Three Constitution Benches in Court nos. 1, 2 and 3 of the Supreme Court of India were sitting today simultaneously and the proceedings in these three Courts were being live streamed through YouTube and other T.V. Channels. Statistics show that more than eight lakh viewers watched the proceedings before the three Constitution Benches,” said the Supreme Court.

The decision to live stream the proceedings of the Constitution benches was taken by the Full Court on September 20, 2022 and soon thereafter trial runs were undertaken by the Registry.

The technical support teams ensured that the live streaming was without any obstruction or difficulty and was completely seamless, the statement added.

Last week Supreme Court decided to hold live streaming of all the Constitution bench hearings from September 27.

Today, three Constitution benches heard the cases relating to pleas challenging the Centre’s decision to grant a 10 per cent quota for the EWS category in admissions and jobs, the Maharashtra political crisis, and control of administrative services in Delhi.

A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India UU Lalit heard pleas challenging the EWS quota case. The case challenges the 103rd Constitution Amendment.

Justice DY Chandrachud-led bench heard the petitions filed by both the Uddhav Thackeray-led camp and Eknath Shinde group on the issue of Maharashtra political crisis, and the plea of the Delhi government on the contentious issue of who should control administrative services in Delhi over the transfers and postings of officers in the national capital.

While a bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul heard the matter relating to the validity of the All India Bar Examination.

Yesterday, CJI said that the Supreme Court will have its own platform to live-stream its proceedings and the use of YouTube for the purpose is temporary.

“These are the initial stages. We will certainly have our own platforms… We will take care of that (copyright issue),” he said while a lawyer told the apex court that the copyright of the top court proceedings cannot be surrendered to private platforms like YouTube.

Currently, the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court has been hearing a number of cases including economically backward class reservation law, the religious practice of ex-communication in the Dawoodi Bohra community, Centre’s petition on additional compensation for victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy among others.

The cases that the five-judge Constitution bench will hear in near future include challenges to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), abrogation of Article 370, Maharashtra political crisis etc.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising had also written to the CJI and other judges requesting the Supreme Court to begin live streaming of proceedings of matters of public and constitutional importance.

In 2018 the then CJI Dipak Misra-led three-judge bench had agreed to start a live telecast of proceedings in a phased manner.

For the first time, the Supreme Court in August live-streamed its proceedings through a government webcast portal of a ceremonial bench for while giving farewell to outgoing Chief Justice of India NV Ramana. (ANI)

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