SC to see Dec 16 gang-rape victim's dying declaration

SC to see Dec 16 gang-rape victim's dying declaration

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the police to produce the dying declaration of Delhi’s December 16 gang-rape victim, saying if her statement was convincing enough, it would not re-look into with the death penalty awarded to four people convicted in the case.

A bench of Justices B S Chauhan and J Chelameswar also extended the stay on the execution of capital punishment of the convicts.

Taking up the special leave petition filed by convicts Mukesh and Pawan, the bench said, “We would like to see the dying declaration of the victim. If it is convincing, we don’t think there is anything in the matter.”

The court’s observation came after advocate M L Sharma, appearing for the petitioners, read out the injuries mentioned in the post-mortem examination of the 23-year-old victim and contended that her condition did not indicate the severity of the assault alleged by the police.

Hearing the argument, the bench reminded the counsel that the incident had taken place on December 16, 2012, while she had expired on December 29 at a Singapore hospital, saying her condition might have improved due to the treatment she was given.

The court then asked Sharma to produce the dying declaration of the victim.

Counsel, however, expressed his inability. On this, the bench directed Additional Solicitor General Sidharth Luthra to submit a photocopy of the record.

The Delhi High court had, on March 13, upheld the conviction and death sentence of Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay Sharma and  Akshay Thakur, awarded by a trial court.

Another accused, Ram Singh, had committed suicide while being kept in judicial custody in Tihar jail, while a juvenile, also involved in the case, was tried separately.

The incident, in which the paramedical student was sexually assaulted brutally inside a private bus, had caused massive outrage across the country. The victim was returning home in south-west Delhi with a male friend when the incident took place.

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