After a delay of more than two years, the Supreme Court yesterday finally began hearing the appeal filed by the four adult convicts in the gruesome Nirbhaya gang rape and murder against the death sentence handed down by the trial court and Delhi High Court.
The juvenile convict already walked free after serving three years at a reformatory home while another accused- Mukesh’s brother Ram Singh committed suicide inside Tihar jail during the trial.
The case which triggered nationwide protests took place on a private bus which the victim had boarded along with a male friend on the night of December 16, 2012.
They were on their way back home after watching the evening show of Life of Pi at a Saket mall theatre.
The accused brutally gang-raped the physiotherapy student, beat up her friend and dumped them from the moving bus. The victim died 13 days later at a hospital in Singapore.
A the outset, M L Sharma, the lawyer for Mukesh and Pawan said the accused had not got a fair trial with the “lower court and Delhi High Court rushing through under various pressures”, and also did not allow several of their crucial applications, the SC said “we will hear it like a trial court and you can place on record whatever evidence you have. We will give you a patient hearing. Let time be consumed”
But to the shock of all in the jam-packed courtroom, Sharma, straight away came to gory details in his attempt to pick holes in the prosecution case. He disputed the use of iron rod by the accused which was central to the brutality and death sentence.
He also questioned how the victim in a critical condition who was straight away put on a ventilator gave a dying declaration.
“Something which is not possible medically was said by police that an iron rod was repeatedly inserted into her. The report of the Singapore hospital says the uterus was intact. If rod is inserted through the lower part, the rod cannot go inside the body without breaking the uterus”, he said.
But the judge Justice Dipak Misra who perused the hospital report said:“What are you talking? Records say ovaries have been destroyed. So nothing turns on that”.
When Sharma claimed the dying declaration was a creation of police, the court shot back, “there is an examination on record of the SDM and a Magistrate in this respect” why can’t it be believed?
The bench’s comment came after Delhi Police Special Public Prosecutor Siddharth Luthra told the court . “Yes she could communicate very little but she was alert and made it up through gestures and signals in response to questions”.
The bench told Sharma that instead of such arguments he better concentrate on the statement of the key witness, the male friend of the victim who was with her on that fateful night, and “shatter it”, if he expected some success. The hearing will continue on Friday.