Apex court chronicles Nirbhaya’s declarations

May 05, 2017 10:17 pm | Updated 10:32 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court chronicled the heroic attempt made by Nirbhaya to identify her attackers even as she lay dying. Her positive identification and graphic recounting of what happened on the night of December 16, 2012, became the starting point for a cast-iron prosecution case.

The Supreme Court dismissed the defence lawyers' claims that her multiple dying declarations — three in all, and the last and third one was recorded when she was too weak to speak and had replied to questions with gestures and nods — proved beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of her attackers in court. Nirbhaya's attempts from her deathbed to bring justice stood firm even though the defence pummelled it for loopholes from the trial court to the Supreme Court.

The first dying declaration was given by her as soon as she reached the hospital on the fateful night, when she gave a brief account of the heinous act.

On December 21, 2012, after receiving medical attention, she was declared fit to record her statement. She was found to be “fit, conscious, oriented and meaningfully communicative”.

Usha Chaturvedi, SDM, who recorded her statement, later testified in court that she had described the crime in detail and also named the accused persons. Moreover, the victim signed the statement and even wrote the date and time in this statement.

Law Minister hails verdict

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday favoured the existence of the death penalty in the statutes, saying he was satisfied that it was invoked in the rarest of rare instances like the December 16 gang rape case. He hailed the SC verdict confirming the death sentence for the four convicts, dubbing it as a “victory of the rule of law.”

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