The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to constitute a three-judge bench to examine a review application filed by Delhi Police challenging the acquittal of three death row convicts in the 2012 Chhawla gang-rape and murder case.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud. Mehta said an 18-year-old was raped and brutally murdered and now, one of the accused in the case has slit the throat of an auto driver, and requested the Chief Justice to set up a bench headed by CJI for an open court hearing.
Chief Justice said he will constitute a bench comprising himself and Justices Ravindra Bhat and Bela Trivedi, to examine the matter. The top court said it will also consider the request for an open court hearing.
The plea said: “It is important to bring forth before the court that one of the accused, Vinod after being acquitted by this court of conviction and punishment granted to him for offences of kidnapping, gang-rape, and murder, has after his release, committed murder of an innocent auto driver when the deceased resisted robbery attempt by the accused.” Vinod was arrested in connection with the murder of the auto driver.
The review application further added that the commission of murder after his release indicates that the accused is a hardened criminal who has abused the benevolence of this court. The application also sought to place additional documents on record in the matter.
In November last year, the apex court had acquitted three persons in the Chhawla rape and murder case.
“The prosecution has to bring home the charges levelled against them beyond reasonable doubt, which the prosecution has failed to do in the instant case, resultantly, the court is left with no alternative but to acquit the accused, though involved in a very heinous crime”, said the top court releasing the accused.
Subsequently, Delhi Lieutenant Governor (L-G) V.K. Saxena had approved the filing of a review petition against this judgment and in December last year, the apex court refused to urgently list the plea seeking a review of the judgment.
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