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Nirbhaya's Nods, Gestures in Dying Declaration Seal Fate of Rapists as Supreme Court Rejects Plea

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the review petitions filed by three of the four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape.

Updated:July 9, 2018, 11:48 PM IST
Nirbhaya's Nods, Gestures in Dying Declaration Seal Fate of Rapists as Supreme Court Rejects Plea
Illustration by Mir Suhail. (
New Delhi: As the Supreme Court on Monday declared that the death row convicts in the December 16 gangrape had failed to point out "error apparent on the face of record" in the earlier judgment, it also observed that the dying declarations of the victim, including the one made through gestures, were "true, voluntary and consistent".

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the trial court, high court and the apex court elaborately considered the three sets of dying declarations during the trial of the case and the convicts could not be allowed to raise the same issues again.

The apex court on Monday dismissed the review petitions filed by three of the four convicts Mukesh (31), Pawan Gupta (24) and Vinay Sharma (25). The fourth convict Akshay (31) did not appeal for a review.

"All the three dying declarations having been relied (on) by trial court, high court and this court and all arguments attacking the dying declarations having been considered and rejected, in its judgment dated May 5, 2017, we are of the view that the petitioner cannot be allowed to re-agitate the same issues which were already considered and expressly rejected by this court," the bench, also comprising Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan, said.

The three dying declarations of the victim were recorded.

The first of the three declarations was recorded by a doctor when she was admitted to hospital on the night of December 16, 2012 and the second on December 21 by a sub-divisional magistrate during which she gave the exact details of the heinous crime that shook the nation to the core.

The third declaration was recorded by a metropolitan magistrate on December 25 and was mostly through gestures.

The bench said that as far as the third dying declaration is concerned, this court has already held that it was made through signs, gestures or by nods and are admissible as evidence.

It also rejected the claim of one of the convicts, Vinay, that he was juvenile at the time of the incident.

The convicts had challenged the validity of the dying declaration and claimed that there were discrepancies in the 23-year-old victim’s statement.

With regard to the second declaration, the counsel appearing for the convicts submitted that in the police diary there was no mention of it.

The paramedic student woman was raped on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in a moving bus in south Delhi by six persons. She was also severely assaulted before being thrown out on the road, left to die in the brutal cold of December winter in Delhi.

Not only was she raped by the six convicts, including a juvenile, an iron rod was inserted into her private parts that caused the fatal injuries that she battled for almost two weeks before breathing her last.

She succumbed to the grievous injuries at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore on December 29, 2012.

One of the accused in the case, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail while the juvenile accused was convicted by a juvenile justice board. He was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term.

After the judgment on Monday, Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said justice has been done. However, she also demanded that the four convicts should be hanged immediately as delaying the process causes delay to justice.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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