Serious doubts raised on Nirbhaya rape evidence by Amicus Curiae

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Sanjay Hegde, senior advocate and amicus curiae to the Supreme Court in the Nirbhaya case, has raised serious doubts on the merits of prosecution evidence, used to pronounce death sentence to four convicts.

In his report, submitted in the Supreme Court, Hegde said on Friday that convict Mukesh was not with prime culprit Ram Singh in bus when offence was committed.

He also added that mobile locations of these(Mukesh and Ram Singh) two culprits were different.

India Today quoted him as saying that there was also no specific evidence that four convicts inserted rod, as widely reported in the media.

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Raju Ramachandran, another amicus curiae in the 16 December gangrape case, too had questioned the procedure adopted to slap death sentence against the convicts.

Hegde felt that it was possible that only one person could have raped Nirbhaya and others were getting embroiled.

He also raised questions on Nirbhaya’s dying declaration stating that there were severe discrepancies in the statement.

“In the first dying declaration, there were no persons named, but in the second one, after the arrests were made, the declaration mentioned a lot of names and in the third one, there was a sudden mention of Vipin,” he was quoted by News18.

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Hegde submitted that while multiple dying declarations are permissible, and minor discrepancies can be accounted for, “the consistent improvement in the three dying declarations in the instant case makes the dying declarations collectively unreliable evidence, recorded to fit the prosecution’s version of the events”.

The trial court had in September 2013 had awarded death sentences to the convicts. Six months later, the Delhi High Court upheld their conviction and sentence. All the convicts moved the Supreme Court in 2014, which stayed their execution. Six people, including a juvenile, had brutally assaulted the woman in a moving bus in South Delhi.

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Later, the accused threw out the victim and her male friend at an isolated spot. She died in a Singapore hospital on 29 December, 2012, triggering nation-wide protests that resulted in giving more teeth to laws related to rape and other forms of sexual harassment.

Nirbhaya’s rape and death had caused international outrage.

 

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