Chhawla Rape-Murder Case: L-G Nod Paves Way for Delhi Govt to File Plea Against Acquittal

The Supreme Court had earlier come down heavily on the investigation, noting that there were 'glaring lapses' in it.

New Delhi: Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor V.K. Saxena has given the green light to the Delhi government to file a petition in the Supreme Court challenging its decision to acquit three convicts in the 2012 Chhawla rape and murder case.

L-G Saxena has also approved of the Delhi government’s decision to engage Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to represent it in the case.

“The LG has approved the filing of a review petition in the Supreme Court against its decision of acquitting the three accused,” an official told PTI.

A 19-year old woman was brutally raped and murdered on February 9, 2012, at Chhawla in Delhi’s Dwarka area. Three men were held and were eventually awarded the death sentence by a trial court. This was upheld by the Delhi high court.

The Supreme Court in its judgment on November 7 , 2022 set aside the trial court and high court orders. A bench of Chief Justice U.U. Lalit and Justices Ravindra Bhat and Bela M. Trivedi came down heavily on the investigation.

The bench noted that neither were any test identification parades conducted by the investigating officer during the course of investigation, nor did any of the witnesses identify the accused during their respective depositions before the court.

“[T]he entire case of the prosecution falls flat on the very first circumstance having not been duly proved by any evidence, much less clinching evidence, against the appellants-accused,” the apex court had said.

In addition to pointing out “glaring lapses” in the investigation, the apex court bench also likened the trial court’s role to that of a “passive umpire’s”.

The victim’s father had expressed disappointment over the verdict and earlier in November had expressed the wish of challenging the verdict. “We will appeal against the Supreme Court’s verdict, which has allowed the acquittal of the three accused. We are in the process of finalising it and will file an appeal soon to reconsider the verdict,” he had said.