New Delhi, April 15:
The Supreme Court Tuesday asked Delhi Police to show the dying declaration of the Dec 16 gangrape victim as it extended its interim order putting on hold the execution of death sentence of Mukesh and Pawan Gupta who were convicted of the crime.
The apex court bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice J. Chelameswar asked Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra to produce the dying declaration as counsel M.L. Sharma appearing for Mukesh and Pawan expressed his inability to produce it before the court.
Justice Chelameswar observed: “If dying declaration is convincing, then we don’t think why this court should interfere in the matter.”
Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Ram Singh along with a juvenile were accused of gang rape and assault on a 23-year-old paramedical student inside a private bus. The victim and her friend were thrown out of the bus after the crime.
The victim died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29, 2012, at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital where she was airlifted to for specialised treatment.
The apex court bench of Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh at a special sitting March 15, 2014, suspended the execution of the death sentence of Mukesh and Pawan till March 31. This was extended by Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice J. Chelameswar by a week till April 7, 2014, as court wanted to look into the trial court verdict.
The suspension of the sentence was once again extended by a week April 7, and the court asked Mukesh and Pawan’s counsel to place before it the post-mortem examination report of the Singapore hospital where the victim was treated and died of her injuries.
Mukesh and Pawan have contended that the prosecution’s story that the victim’s end came because of heavy bleeding on account of serious injuries to her intestines was not confirmed by the post-mortem report by the Singapore hospital.
They have contended that their trial was not free and fair, and the trial that started Jan 21, 2013, was under “public/political pressure” with “object to hang the petitioners (Mukesh and Pawan) and other accused people”.
Describing the entire trial as “miscarriage of justice”, the petitioners have contended that they were represented by a state-appointed advocate.
On March 13, the Delhi High Court bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani upheld the death sentence of Mukesh and Pawan along with two other convicts.