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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

rape and murder of a 23 years' age lady ­Nirbhaya (changed name).= When the review will not be maintainable: (i) A repetition of old and overruled argument is not enough to reopen concluded adjudications. (ii) Minor mistakes of inconsequential import. (iii) Review proceedings cannot be equated with the original hearing of the case. (iv) Review is not maintainable unless the material error, manifest on the face of the order, undermines its soundness or results in miscarriage of justice. (v) A review is by no means an appeal in disguise whereby an erroneous decision is reheard and corrected but lies only for patent error. (vi) The mere possibility of two views on the subject cannot be a ground for review. (vii) The error apparent on the face of the record should not be an error which has to be fished out and searched. (viii) The appreciation of evidence on record is fully within the domain of the appellate court, it cannot be permitted to be advanced in the review petition. (ix) Review is not maintainable when the same relief sought at the time of arguing the main matter had been negatived.” ; Involvement of the bus No. DL 1 PC 0149 (Ext. P/1) was also held to be substantiated by matching of DNA profile of the material objects lifted from the bus No. DL 1 PC 0149 (Ext. P/1) which were found consistent with that of the victim and the complainant. - Matching of DNA profile developed from the articles seized from the bus like ‘hair’ recovered from the third left row of the bus and the blood­stained seat cover of the bus and the bunch of hair recovered from the floor of the bus with the DNA profile of the victim was held to be unimpeachable evidence establishing the involvement of the bus in the commission of the offence.; various submissions regarding reliability of the three dying declarations:­ (i) failure to disclose the names of any of the accused in the first dying declaration (Ext.PW­49/A) and therefore, the second and third dying declarations are tutored; (ii) the three dying declarations cannot be relied upon due to variations and improvements; and (iii) sudden appearance of the name of ‘Vipin’ (in the third dying declaration) makes it doubtful and no explanation is offered.= The victim made three dying declarations:­ (i) statement recorded by PW­49 Dr. Rashmi Ahuja immediately after the victim was admitted to the hospital; (ii) Dying declaration (Ex.PW­27/A) recorded by PW­27 SDM Usha Chaturvedi on 21.12.2012; and (iii) dying declaration (Ex.PW­30/D) recorded by PW­30 Pawan Kumar, Metropolitan Magistrate on 25.12.2012 at 1:00 p.m. by multiple choice questions and recording answers by gestures and writing. In the first dying declaration (Ex.PW­49/A), the prosecutrix has stated that more than two men committed 27 rape on her, bit her on lips, cheeks and breast and also subjected her to unnatural sex. In the second dying declaration (Ex.PW­27/A) recorded by PW­27, the victim has narrated the entire incident in great detail, specifying the role of each accused, rape committed by number of persons, insertion of iron rod in her private parts, description of the bus, robbery committed and throwing of both the victims out of the moving bus in naked condition. On 25.12.2012 at 1:00 p.m., PW­30 Pawan Kumar, Metropolitan Magistrate recorded the statement by putting multiple choice questions to the victim and by getting answers through gestures and writing. While making the third declaration, the victim also tried to reveal the names of the accused by writing in her own handwriting viz. “Ram Singh, Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay, Vipin, Raju”.= this Court held that all the three dying declarations are true, voluntary and consistent.- held that the dying declaration made through signs, gestures or by nods are admissible as evidence and that proper care was taken by PW­30 Pawan Kumar, Metropolitan Magistrate and the third dying declaration recorded by in response to the multiplechoice questions by signs, gestures made by the victim are admissible as evidence. In the third dying declaration, the victim also wrote the names of the accused persons “Ram Singh, Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay, Vipin, Raju”. So far as the name of accused Vipin written by the prosecutrix in the third dying declaration has been elaborately considered by this Court in paras (150) and (188) of the judgment.; Plea of alibi raised by accused Vinay Sharma =The plea of alibi put forth by accused Vinay Sharma that he was present in the musical programme organised by the SCC Unit of the Church in the DDA Park in his locality has been elaborately considered in paras (258) to (269). In para (267) of the judgment, this Court referred to the evidence of PW­83 Shri Angad Singh, 31 Deputy Director (Horticulture), DDA who has deposed that no permission was granted by any authority to organise any function in the evening of 16.12.2012 in the DDA District Park, Hauz Khas, New Delhi. This Court has also referred to the evidence of PW­84 Father George Manimala of St. Thomas Church and PW­85 Brother R.P. Samuel, Secretary, Ebenezer Assembly Church who have deposed that their church(es) never organised any musical programme/event in the DDA District Park, Hauz Khas in the evening of Sunday i.e. on 16.12.2012.- the evidence of PW­46 and the expert report (Ext. PW46/D), this Court held that the evidence clearly establishes the presence of accused Vinay Sharma in the bus. There is no merit in the contention that the plea of alibi was not considered by this Court.; Now, coming to the submission regarding juvenility of petitioner, Vinay Sharma. = petitioner is not a juvenile has rightly rejected the application for ossification test submitted by petitioner No.1.

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REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURICTION
REVIEW PETITION (CRL.) NOS.671­673 OF 2017
IN
CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.608 & 609­610 OF 2017
VINAY SHARMA & ANR. ... PETITIONERS
VERSUS
STATE OF NCT OF DELHI & ORS. ... RESPONDENTS
J U D G M E N T
ASHOK BHUSHAN, J.
These   review   petitions   have   been   filed   by   two
applicants   Vinay   Sharma­accused   No.1   and   Pawan   Kumar
Gupta­accused No.2 to review the judgment of this Court
dated   05.05.2017   by   which   judgment   this   Court   had
dismissed the criminal appeals filed by the petitioners
challenging   the   order   of   the   High   Court   confirming   the
death reference and dismissing the criminal appeals filed
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by   the   petitioners   against   the   order   of   conviction   and
award of death sentence.
2. Both the petitioners were tried for rape and murder
of   a   23   years'   age   lady   ­Nirbhaya   (changed   name).   The
trial   court   convicted   the   petitioners   along   with   three
others   and   awarded   death   sentence   to   all   the   four
accused.   Death   reference   No.6   of   2013   Was   sent   by   the
trial court to the High Court. Separate criminal appeals
were   also   filed   by   the   petitioners   challenging   the
judgment  of the trial  court.  Delhi  High Court  vide  its
judgment dated 13.03.2014 confirmed the death penalty to
all   the   four   convicts   including   petitioners,   Vinay
Sharma,   appellant   No.1   in   Criminal   Appeal   No.   609   of
2017,   Pawan   Kumar   Gupta,   appellant   No.1   in   Criminal
Appeal Nos.608 of 2017. The appeals were dismissed by the
judgment of this Court dated 05.05.2017. The petitioners
aggrieved by the said judgment dated 05.05.2017 by which
all   the   appeals   were   dismissed   have   filed   these   review
petitions   praying   for   reviewing   the   judgment   dated
05.05.2017.
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3. We have heard the learned counsel, Shri A.P. Singh
appearing for the petitioners and Shri Sidharth Luthra,
learned senior counsel for the State.
4. Shri A.P. Singh learned counsel for the peititoners
in   support   of   the   review   petitions   has   urged   several
grounds. Shri Singh submits that death penalty in India
needs to be abolished. He submits that there are several
reasons   for   opposing   death   penalty   which   broadly
speaking,   they   fall   under   two   categories,   moral   and
practical. This also goes against the principle of nonviolence
  that   India   has   advocated   for   decades.   In   the
year 1966, the Bill introducing death penalty abolition
was   passed   by   the   House   of   Parliament   in   England.   He
further   submitted   that   in   a   large   number   of   countries
death   penalty   has   been   abolished.   In   his   submission   he
has   referred   the   names   of   several   Latin   American
countries and  several  Australian States.
5. Apart from above, several other contentions have been
advanced by Shri A.P. Singh which we proceed to note in
seriatim. Shri Singh submits that investigation and trial
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has been carried out with the sole purpose of survival of
the prosecuting agency. The investigation is engaged in
maladroit effort to book the vulnerable and the innocent
so as to disguise and cover there inefficiency to catch
the   real   culprits.   The   political   class   is   using
investigating   agencies   as   tools   for   partisan   political
objective.
6. PW.1,   during   his   cross­examination   was   confronted
with   his   statement   Ex.PW­1/A   qua   the   factum   of   not
disclosing the use of iron rod, the description of Bus,
the name of assailants either in MLC Ex.PW­51/A or in his
complaint   Ex.PW­1/A.   The   Bus,   Ex.P­1   has   been   falsely
implicated   in   the   present   case.   CCTV   footage   was   not
properly examined to check all possible Buses plying on
the   said   route.     The   Bus   was   taken   to   Tyagraj   Stadium
instead of the Police Station to avoid the media and to
facilitate the planting of evidence.
7. That the three dying declarations have been contrived
and   deserved   to   be   kept   out   of   consideration   and   the
dying   declarations   do   not   inspire   confidence   for
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variations in them relating to the number of assailants,
the description of Bus, the identity of accused etc. If
at all any dying declaration is to be relied on, it is
first dying declaration made on 16.12.2012 and recorded
by PW­49, Dr. Rashmi Ahuja, which dying declaration only
states that there were 4 to 5 persons in the Bus.
8. In   the   statement   recorded   in   MLC   Ex.PW­49/A
prosecutrix   has   neither   named   any   of   the   accused   nor
mentioned   the   factum   of   iron   rod   being   used   by   the
accused   persons.   The   prosecutrix   could   not   have   given
such a lengthy dying declaration on 21.12.2012 when she
was   continuously   on   morphine.   Third   dying   declaration
recorded   by   the   Metropolitan   Magistrate,   PW­30,   on
25.12.2012, through gesture and writings is controverted
by allegations of false medical fitness certificate and
absence   of   videography.     The   use   of   iron   rod   was   not
mentioned   by   PW­1   in   his   statement.   Had   the   iron   rod
been   really   inserted   through   the   vagina,   it   would   have
first   destroyed   the   uterus   before   the   intestines   were
pulled   out.   There   were   no   rod   related   injuries   in   her
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uterus   and   medical   science   too   does   not   assist   the
prosecution in their claim.
9. The DNA test can not be treated as accurate, since
there was blood transfusion as the prosecutrix required
blood   and   when   there   is   mixing   of   blood,   the
DNA profile is likely to differ. 
10. The   High   Court   has   failed   to   appreciate   that
petitioner No.1, Vinay Sharma on the date of incident and
time was in a musical programme arranged by S.C.C. unit
of Church in his locality and he was there from 8.15 p.m.
to 11/12 p.m. on 16.12.2012. The presence of petitioner
No.1   in   musical   show   has   been   witnessed   by   defence
witnesses who had deposed before the Court. Ram Babu,DW10
had also videographed the show from the mobile phone
of   petitioner   No.1   which   was   produced   before   the   trial
court.
11. The   application   for   ossification   test   submitted   by
petitioner   No.1   was   wrongly   turned   down   by   the   trial
court. The petitioner was actually born on 01.03.1995 but
his   date   of   birth   given   by   his   father   was   01.03.1994
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which was only for the purpose of getting him admitted in
the MCD School. The petitioner was only 17 years 8 months
and 15 days old at the time of incident.
12. The   real   date   of   birth   of   petitioner   No.2   is
08.10.1996 and he was also minor on the date of incident.
The   petitioners   were   not   habitual   offenders.   Number   of
dacoits have surrendered for the last several decades and
have reformed themselves.
13. Shri   Sidharth   Luthra,   learned   senior   counsel
appearing for the State refuting the submissions of the
petitioners submitted that the petitioners already in a
long hearing of the appeals before this Court have made
all   possible   submissions   which   have   been   considered   by
this Court while deciding the appeals on 05.05.2017, the
review   petition   is   nothing   but   an   effort   by   the
petitioners   to   re­argue   the   appeals   on   merits   which   is
not permissible under the law. No grounds have been made
out to consider the review petitions. In so far as the
submission   of   the   learned   counsel   for   the   petitioners
that the death penalty be abolished in India, Shri Luthra
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submits that the said submission need not to be gone into
in   these   review   petitions.   It   is   submitted   that   death
penalty   has   already   been   upheld   by   this   Court   by   the
Constitution   Bench   of   this   Court   in  Bachan   Singh   vs.
State of Punjab, (1980) 2 SCC 684. He submits that death
penalty being still in the statute book it is not open
for the petitioners to  argue  that  the  death penalty be
abolished   in   this   country.   The   abolition   of   the   death
penalty   is   a   legislative   function   and   unless   the
Parliament   passes   an   amending   Act   it   is   not   for   the
Courts to consider the said submission.
14. With   regard   to   the   submissions   of   the   petitioners
that   investigation   was   faulty   and   prosecuting   agencies
had   roped   in   the   petitioners,   it   is   submitted   that
prosecution   was   scientifically   carried   out   in   efficient
manner which has also been noted by this Court and any
person against the prosecution are unjustified and have
to be ignored.
15. The evidence of PW­1 and all infirmities which are
sought to be pointed out in these review petitions have
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already   been   considered   and   gone   into   by   this   Court.
Learned counsel has referred  to in  paragraphs  65  to 97
and   425   to   434   of   the   judgment   where   this   Court   has
thoroughly considered all submissions regarding evidence
of PW­1 and this Court has rejected the inconsistencies,
shortcomings   and   omissions   as   being   pointed   by   the
petitioners. Coming to the submission that the Bus, P­1
has   been     falsely   implicated,   Shri   Luthra   submits   that
apart   from   CCTV   footage   where   Bus   was   noticed   twice
passing   in   front   of   the   hotel,   there   were   other
evidences, namely finger prints, wound stains and other
objects obtained from the Bus which proved that the Bus
was involved in the incident. Shri Luthra has referred to
paragraphs 104 and 105 where this argument has been noted
and rejected by this Court.
16. On the submissions raised by the learned counsel for
the petitioners regarding dying declarations, Shri Luthra
submits   that   all   arguments   pertaining   to   dying
declarations have  been considered and dealt with by this
Court   in   paragraphs   148   to   192   of   the   judgment   dated
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05.05.2017 and petitioners cannot be allowed to reagitate
the same which have already been considered and rejected
by   this   Court.   With   regard   to   first   dying   declaration
which was the case history recorded by Dr. Rashmi Ahuja,
this   Court   has   considered   all   aspects   and   had   already
held that there was no infirmity in noticing the facts as
could be disclosed by the prosecutrix at that time when
she   had   undergone   traumatic   experience   immediately
before.
17. The non­mention of use of iron rod in the MLC or PW1's
statement has also been considered by this Court and
this Court had held and found use of iron rod from the
evidence. The statement of PW­1 pertaining to use of iron
rod   to   injure   the   prosecutrix   has   also   been   considered
and   noticed   by   this   Court.   The   DNA   reports   have   been
examined   in   detail   by   this   Court   including   blood
transfusion which has also been considered in paragraphs
233­234. With regard to alibi of Vinay Sharma that he, at
the relevant time, was in a musical programme, this Court
in   its   judgment   dated   05.05.2017   has   considered   and
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rejected the plea of alibi after consideration of Defence
evidence.   The   same   argument   cannot   be   allowed   to   be
raised in the review petition.  In so far as the argument
that petitioner No.1, Vinay  Sharma was a juvenile at the
time   of   the   commission   of   the   offence,   Shri   Luthra
mentioned   order   of   the   trial   court   dated   10.01.2013
which mentioned that age verification report of Vinay and
Pawan have been received and they do not dispute the age
verification report filed by the IO. The prosecuiton has
placed   the   certified   copy   of   the   admission   register   of
the first attended school along with the certified copy
of the admission form of the first class of accused­Vinay
Sharma   and   trial   court   after   considering   all   evidences
had held that Vinay Sharma was more than 18 years of age
at the time of commission of offence. On the claim that
Pawan was a juvenile, Shri Luthra referred to the order
dated 10.01.2013 where age verification report of Pawan
has   been   received   and   also   certified   copies   had   been
filed on record. The report had referred to the written
statement of the parents of both these accused where they
have   confirmed   the   age   of   their   wards.     There   was   no
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infirmity   in   the   trial   court   taking   decision   that   both
were   major   and   the   trial   court   proceeded   accordingly.
There   is   no   substance   in   the   submission   raised   by   the
learned counsel for the petitioners.
18. We have considered the submissions of the parties and
perused the records.
19. Before we enter into the submissions raised in these
review petitions, it is useful to recapitulate the scope
and   grounds   available   for   exercise   of   jurisdiction   by
this Court under Article 137. Order XLVII Rule 1 of the
Supreme   Court   Rules,   2013   dealing   with   review   is   as
follows:
“i.   The   Court   may   review   its   judgment   or
order,   but   no   application   for   review   will   be
entertained   in   a   civil   proceeding   except   on
the ground mentioned in Order XLVII, rule 1 of
the Code, and in a criminal proceeding except
on the ground of an error apparent on the face
of the record.”
20. An   application   to   review   a   judgment   is   not   to   be
lightly   entertained   and   this   Court   could   exercise   its
review jurisdiction only when those grounds are made out
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as provided in Order XLVII Rule 1 of the Supreme Court
Rules, 2013 framed under Article 145 of the Constitution
of India.  This Court in Sow Chandra Kante and another v.
Sheikh Habib, (1975) 1 SCC 674  speaking through Justice
V.R. Krishna Iyer on review has stated the following in
para 10:
“10. A review of a judgment is a serious step
and   reluctant   resort   to   it   is   proper   only
where a glaring omission or patent mistake or
like   grave   error   has   crept   in   earlier   by
judicial   fallibility.   A   mere   repetition,
through   different   counsel,   of   old   and
overruled   arguments,   a   second   trip   over
ineffectually covered ground or minor mistakes
of   inconsequential   import   are   obviously
insufficient.”
21. As   per   rule,   review   in   a   criminal   proceeding   is
permissible only on the ground of error apparent on the
face of the record. This Court in  P.N. Eswara Iyer and
others v. Registrar, Supreme Court of India, (1980) 4
SCC 680  while examining the review jurisdiction of this
Court  vis a vis  criminal and civil proceedings had made
the following observations in paras 34 and 35: 
“34.   The   rule,   on   its   face,   affords   a   wider
set of grounds for review for orders in  civil
proceedings,   but   limits   the   ground   vis­a­vis
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criminal   proceedings  to   “errors   apparent  on
the   face  of   the   record”.   If   at   all,   the
concern   of   the   law   to   avoid   judicial   error
should   be   heightened   when   life   or   liberty   is
in peril since civil penalties are often less
traumatic. So, it is reasonable to assume that
the   framers   of   the   rules   could   not   have
intended   a   restrictive   review   over   criminal
orders   or   judgments.   It   is   likely   to   be   the
other   way   about.   Supposing   an   accused   is
sentenced   to   death   by   the   Supreme   Court   and
the “deceased” shows up in court and the court
discovers the tragic treachery of the recorded
testimony. Is the court helpless to review and
set   aside   the   sentence   of   hanging?   We   think
not. The power to review is in Article 137 and
it   is   equally   wide   in   all   proceedings.   The
rule   merely   canalises   the   flow   from   the
reservoir   of   power.   The   stream   cannot   stifle
the   source.   Moreover,   the   dynamics   of
interpretation   depend   on   the   demand   of   the
context   and   the   lexical   limits   of   the   test.
Here   “record”   means   any   material   which   is
already on record or may, with the permission
of the court, be brought on record. If justice
summons  the  Judges   to   allow  a   vital  material
in,   it   becomes   part   of   the   record;   and   if
apparent   error   is   there,   correction   becomes
necessitous.
35.   The   purpose   is   plain,   the   language   is
elastic   and   interpretation   of   a   necessary
power   must   naturally   be   expansive.   The
substantive power is derived from Article 137
and   is   as   wide   for   criminal   as   for   civil
proceedings.   Even   the   difference   in
phraseology   in   the   rule   (Order   40   Rule   2)
must, therefore, be read to encompass the same
area   and   not   to   engraft   an   artificial
divergence   productive   of   anomaly.   If   the
expression   “record”   is   read   to   mean,   in   its
15
semantic   sweep,   any   material   even   later
brought   on   record,   with   the   leave   of   the
court, it will embrace subsequent events, new
light and other grounds which we find in Order
47   Rule   1,   CPC.   We   see   no   insuperable
difficulty   in   equating   the   area  in   civil   and
criminal   proceedings   when   review   power   is
invoked from the same source.”
22. The scope of review jurisdiction has been considered
by   this   Court   in   a   number   of   cases   where   well   settled
principles   have   been   reiterated   time   and   again.   It   is
sufficient to refer to judgment of this Court in Kamlesh
Verma   vs.   Mayawati   and   others   (2013)   8   SCC   320,   where
this   Court   has   elaborately   considered   the   scope   of
review. In paras 17, 18, 20.1 and 20.2 following has been
laid down:
“17.  In a review petition, it is not open to
the   Court   to   reappreciate   the   evidence   and
reach a different conclusion, even if that is
possible.   Conclusion   arrived   at   on
appreciation of evidence cannot be assailed in
a   review   petition   unless   it   is   shown   that
there is an error apparent on the face of the
record   or   for   some   reason   akin   thereto.  This
Court in  Kerala SEB  v.  Hitech Electrothermics
& Hydropower Ltd.  held as under: (SCC p. 656,
para 10)
“10. … In a review petition it is not open to
this Court to reappreciate the evidence and
16
reach a different conclusion, even if that is
possible. The learned counsel for the Board
at   best   sought   to   impress   us   that   the
correspondence exchanged between the parties
did   not   support   the   conclusion   reached   by
this Court. We are afraid such a submission
cannot   be   permitted   to   be   advanced   in   a
review petition. The appreciation of evidence
on record is fully within the domain of the
appellate   court.   If   on   appreciation   of   the
evidence   produced,   the   court   records   a
finding   of   fact   and   reaches   a   conclusion,
that   conclusion   cannot   be   assailed   in   a
review petition unless it is shown that there
is   an   error   apparent   on   the   face   of   the
record   or   for   some   reason   akin   thereto.   It
has not been contended before us that there
is   any   error   apparent   on   the   face   of   the
record.   To   permit   the   review   petitioner   to
argue   on   a   question   of   appreciation   of
evidence would amount to converting a review
petition into an appeal in disguise.”
18.  Review   is   not   rehearing   of   an   original
matter. The power of review cannot be confused
with appellate power which enables a superior
court   to   correct   all   errors   committed   by   a
subordinate   court.   A   repetition   of   old   and
overruled   argument   is   not   enough   to   reopen
concluded   adjudications.   This   Court   in  Jain
Studios   Ltd.  v.  Shin   Satellite   Public   Co.
Ltd.,   held   as   under:   (SCC   pp.   504­505,   paras
11­12)
“11. So far as the grievance of the applicant
on merits is concerned, the learned counsel
for the opponent is right in submitting that
virtually the applicant seeks the same relief
which had been sought at the time of arguing
the main matter and had been negatived. Once
17
such   a   prayer   had   been   refused,   no   review
petition   would   lie   which   would   convert
rehearing   of   the   original   matter.   It   is
settled law that the power of review cannot
be   confused   with   appellate   power   which
enables   a   superior   court   to   correct   all
errors committed by a subordinate court. It
is   not   rehearing   of   an   original   matter.   A
repetition of old and overruled argument is
not enough to reopen concluded adjudications.
The   power   of   review   can   be   exercised   with
extreme care, caution and circumspection and
only in exceptional cases.
12. When a prayer to appoint an arbitrator by
the   applicant   herein   had   been   made   at   the
time when the arbitration petition was heard
and was rejected, the same relief cannot be
sought   by   an   indirect   method   by   filing   a
review   petition.   Such   petition,   in   my
opinion, is in the nature of ‘second innings’
which   is   impermissible   and   unwarranted   and
cannot be granted.””
20.1. When the review will be maintainable:
(i) Discovery of new and important matter or
evidence   which,   after   the   exercise   of   due
diligence,   was   not   within   knowledge   of   the
petitioner or could not be produced by him;
(ii) Mistake or error apparent on the face of
the record;
(iii) Any other sufficient reason.
The   words   “any   other   sufficient   reason”   have
been   interpreted   in  Chhajju   Ram  v.  Neki  and
approved by this Court in  Moran Mar Basselios
Catholicos v. Most Rev. Mar Poulose Athanasius
to   mean   “a   reason   sufficient   on   grounds   at
18
least   analogous   to   those   specified   in   the
rule”.   The   same   principles   have   been
reiterated   in  Union   of   India  v.  Sandur
Manganese & Iron Ores Ltd.
20.2.  When   the   review   will   not   be
maintainable:
(i)   A   repetition   of   old   and   overruled
argument   is   not   enough   to   reopen   concluded
adjudications.
(ii)   Minor   mistakes   of   inconsequential
import.
(iii)   Review   proceedings   cannot   be   equated
with the original hearing of the case.
(iv)   Review   is   not   maintainable   unless   the
material error, manifest on the face of the
order, undermines its soundness or results in
miscarriage of justice.
(v)   A   review   is   by   no   means   an   appeal   in
disguise   whereby   an   erroneous   decision   is
reheard   and   corrected   but   lies   only   for
patent error.
(vi) The mere possibility of two views on the
subject cannot be a ground for review.
(vii) The error apparent on the face of the
record should not be an error which has to be
fished out and searched.
(viii) The appreciation of evidence on record
is fully within the domain of the appellate
court, it cannot be permitted to be advanced
in the review petition.
(ix) Review is not maintainable when the same
relief sought at the time of arguing the main
matter had been negatived.”
19
23. This very Bench speaking through one of us (Justice
Ashok   Bhushan)   had   occasion   to   consider   the   ambit   and
scope of the review Jurisdiction in a criminal proceeding
in  Vikram Singh alias Vicky Walia and another vs. State
of Punjab and another (2017) 8 SCC 518.   In para 23 of
the judgement following has been stated:
“23.   In   view   of   the   above,   it   is   clear   that
scope,   ambit   and   parameters   of   review
jurisdiction   are   well   defined.   Normally   in   a
criminal   proceeding,   review   applications
cannot be entertained except on the ground of
error   apparent   on   the   face   of   the   record.
Further,   the   power   given   to  this   Court   under
Article   137   is   wider   and   in   an   appropriate
case   can   be  exercised   to   mitigate   a  manifest
injustice. By review application an applicant
cannot be allowed to reargue the appeal on the
grounds   which   were   urged   at   the   time   of   the
hearing   of   the   criminal   appeal.   Even   if   the
applicant succeeds in establishing that there
may be another view possible on the conviction
or   sentence   of   the   accused   that   is   not   a
sufficient ground for review. This Court shall
exercise its jurisdiction to review only when
a glaring omission or patent mistake has crept
in   the   earlier   decision   due   to   judicial
fallibility. There has to be an error apparent
on   the   face   of   the   record   leading   to
miscarriage of justice to exercise the review
jurisdiction under Article 137 read with Order
40   Rule   1.   There   has   to   be   a   material   error
manifest   on   the   face   of   the   record   with
results in the miscarriage of justice.”
20
24. We first take up the submission of Shri A.P. Singh
regarding the abolition of death penalty in this counrty.
The   Constitution   Bench   of   this   Court   in  Bachan   Singh
(supra)  examined   the   constitutional   validity   of   death
penalty   as   provided   under   Section   302   of   IPC.   After
elaborately considering the existence of death penalty in
the Penal Code, constitutional provisions of Articles 19
and 21, and international covenant on civil and criminal
rights, this court held that death penalty as contained
in Penal Code is constitutionally valid. In paragraph 132
following was held:
“132. To sum up, the question whether or not
death   penalty   serves   any   penological   purpose
is a difficult, complex and intractable issue.
It has evoked strong, divergent views. For the
purpose   of   testing   the   constitutionality   of
the   impugned   provision   as   to   death   penalty
in Section   302, Penal   Code on   the   ground   of
reasonableness in the light Of Articles 19 and
21   of   the   Constitution,   it   is   not   necessary
for us to express any categorical opinion, one
way   or   the   other,   as   to   which   of   these   two
antithetical views, held by the Abolitionists
and   Retentionists,   is   correct.   It   is
sufficient   to   say   that   the   very   fact   that
persons   of   reason,   learning   and   light   are
rationally and deeply divided in their opinion
on this issue, is a ground among others, for
rejecting   the   petitioner's   argument   that
retention   of   death   penalty   in   the   impugned
21
provision,   is   totally   devoid   of   reason   and
purpose.   If,   notwithstanding   the   view   of   the
Abolitionists   to   the   contrary,   a   very   large
segment   of   people,   the   world   over,   including
sociologists, legislators, jurists, judges and
administrators   still   firmly   believe   in   the
worth and necessity of capital punishment for
the   protection   of   society,   if   in   the
perspective of prevailing crime conditions in
India, contemporary public opinion channelized
through   the   people's   representatives   in
Parliament,   has   repeatedly   in   the   last   three
decades, rejected all attempts, including the
one made recently, to abolish or specifically
restrict the area of death penalty, if death
penalty   is   still   a   recognised   legal   sanction
for murder or some types of murder in most of
the civilised countries in the world, if the!
framers of the Indian Constitution were fully
aware as we shall presently show they were of
the   existence   of   death   penalty   as   punishment
for   murder,   under the   Indian   Penal   Code,   if
the 35th Report and subsequent Reports of the
Law   Commission   suggesting   retention   of   death
penalty,   and   recommending   revision of   the
Criminal   Procedure   Code and   the   insertion   of
the   new Sections   235(2) and 354(3) in   that
Code   providing   for   pre­sentence   hearing   and
sentencing procedure on conviction for murder
and   other   capital   offences   were   before   the
Parliament   and   presumably   considered   by   it
when in 1972­1973 it took up revision of the
Code of   1898   and   replaced   it   by   the CrPC,
1973,   it   is   not   possible   to   hold   that   the
provision   of   death   penalty   as   an   alternative
punishment   for   murder,   in Section   302, Penal
Code is   unreasonable   and   not   in   the   public
interest.   We   would,   therefore,   conclude   that
the   impugned   provision   in Section   302,
violates   neither   the   letter   or   the   ethos
of Article 19.”
22
25. The submission of Mr. Singh that death penalty has
been abolished by the Parliament of U.K. in the year 1966
and   several   Latin   American   countries   and   Australian
States have also abolished death penalty is no ground to
efface   the   death   penalty   from   the   statute   book   of   our
country.  So far the death  penalty  remains  in  the  Penal
Code the Courts cannot be held to commit any illegality
in awarding death penalty in appropriate cases.
26. In view of the above, no ground to review judgment is
made out on the strength of the above submissions.
27. Now,   coming   to   the   submissions   made   by   Shri   Singh
attacking   the   investigation   and   prosecution   agencies,
suffice   it   to   say   that   submissions   and   arguments   are
general in nature and not based on any substantial ground
so as to point out any such error in the trial so as to
furnish any ground to review any judgment.
28. The   submission   made   by   Shri   Singh   attacking   the
evidence of PW­1 sole eye­witness, who was also injured
23
in the incident need not to be considered in these review
petitions.   All   submissions   impeaching   evidence   of   PW­1
were   made   when   the   appeals   were   heard   on   merit.     This
Court   had   considered   all   submissions   attacking   the
evidence of PW­1 in paragraphs 65­97 and 425 to 434. This
Court after examining the relevant evidences had relied
on evidence of PW­1. In the review petitions, petitioners
cannot   ask   the   Court   to   re­hear   the   appeals   on   merits
which submissions had already been noted, considered and
rejected.
29. The   submission   of   Shri   Singh   that   Bus   Ex.P­1,   has
been   falsely   implicated   is   also   stated   to   be   rejected.
All these submissions were considered by this Court while
delivering the judgment in paragraphs 98­107. This   Court
has   rejected   the   submission   of   the   petitioners   that   it
was a case of plantation of Bus, the Bus was found to be
involved in the incident from the evidence on record.
30. Contention of Mr. V.K. Singh is that the bus No. DL 1
PC  0149 (Ext.  P/1)  has  been falsely implicated  and  the
24
CCTV Footage cannot be relied upon and this aspect is not
properly considered by this Court.  The exact points now
raised by Mr. Singh in para (M) of the review petition
were considered by this Court in paras (98) to (113) and
paras   (435)   to   (439).     In   para   (101),   this   Court   has
referred   to   the   evidence   of   PW­76   Gautam   Roy,   HoD,
Computer   Cell,   Forensic   Division   who   has   examined   the
CCTV Footage received by him in a Pen Drive in two sealed
parcels.  In paras (98) to (113), this Court has referred
to   the   evidence   regarding   retrieval   of   CCTV   Footage   in
the   presence   of   PW­67   Pramod   Kumar   Jha,   owner   of   the
hotel at Delhi Airport and the photographs taken thereon
to   prove   the   involvement   of   the   bus   No.   DL   1   PC   0149
(Ext. P/1).
31. To show the involvement of the bus No. DL 1 PC 0149
(Ext. P/1), in paras (108) to (113), this Court has also
elaborately   considered   the   evidence   of   PW­81,   Dinesh
Yadav,   owner   of   the   bus   and   PW­16   Rajeev   Jakhmola,
Manager   (Admn.)   of   Birla   Vidya   Niketan   School,   Pushp
Vihar who have stated that the bus No. DL 1 PC 0149 (Ext.
25
P/1) was routinely driven by Ram Singh (deceased accused)
and he was the driver of the bus.
32. Involvement of the bus No. DL 1 PC 0149 (Ext. P/1)
was   also   held   to   be   substantiated   by   matching   of   DNA
profile of the material objects lifted from the bus No.
DL 1 PC 0149 (Ext. P/1) which were found consistent with
that of the victim and the complainant.   In paras (431)
and (438), the same has been well­considered.   Matching
of   DNA   profile   developed   from   the   articles   seized   from
the bus like ‘hair’ recovered from the third left row of
the bus and the blood­stained seat cover of the bus and
the   bunch   of   hair   recovered   from   the   floor   of   the   bus
with   the   DNA   profile   of   the   victim   was   held   to   be
unimpeachable   evidence   establishing   the   involvement   of
the bus in the commission of the offence.   The oral and
scientific   evidence   has   been   elaborately   considered   by
this Court in upholding the findings of the High Court as
to   the   involvement   of   the   bus.     The   petitioner/accused
cannot reagitate the same point again.
26
33. Mr.   Singh   has  inter   alia  made   various   submissions
regarding   reliability   of   the   three   dying   declarations:­
(i) failure to disclose the names of any of the accused
in   the   first   dying   declaration   (Ext.PW­49/A)   and
therefore,   the   second   and   third   dying   declarations   are
tutored;   (ii)   the   three   dying   declarations   cannot   be
relied upon due to variations and improvements; and (iii)
sudden  appearance  of  the  name  of  ‘Vipin’  (in  the  third
dying declaration) makes it doubtful and no explanation
is offered.
34. The   victim   made   three   dying   declarations:­   (i)
statement recorded by PW­49 Dr. Rashmi Ahuja immediately
after   the   victim   was   admitted   to   the   hospital;     (ii)
Dying declaration (Ex.PW­27/A) recorded by PW­27 SDM Usha
Chaturvedi   on   21.12.2012;   and   (iii)   dying   declaration
(Ex.PW­30/D) recorded by PW­30 Pawan Kumar, Metropolitan
Magistrate on 25.12.2012 at 1:00 p.m. by multiple choice
questions and recording answers by gestures and writing.
In   the   first   dying   declaration   (Ex.PW­49/A),   the
prosecutrix has stated that more than two men committed
27
rape on her, bit her on lips, cheeks and breast and also
subjected   her   to   unnatural   sex.   In   the   second   dying
declaration   (Ex.PW­27/A)   recorded   by   PW­27,   the   victim
has   narrated   the   entire   incident   in   great   detail,
specifying   the   role   of   each   accused,   rape   committed   by
number of persons, insertion of iron rod in her private
parts,   description   of   the   bus,   robbery   committed   and
throwing   of   both   the   victims   out   of   the   moving   bus   in
naked condition.  On 25.12.2012 at 1:00 p.m., PW­30 Pawan
Kumar, Metropolitan Magistrate recorded the statement by
putting   multiple   choice   questions   to   the   victim   and   by
getting   answers   through   gestures   and   writing.       While
making   the   third   declaration,   the   victim   also   tried   to
reveal   the   names   of   the   accused   by   writing   in   her   own
handwriting   viz.   “Ram   Singh,   Mukesh,   Vinay,   Akshay,
Vipin, Raju”.
35. All the contentions raised regarding the three dying
declarations   have   been   considered   in   detail   in   paras
(148) to (192) and paras (395) to (417). Considering all
the   three   dying   declarations,   in   the   light   of   well­
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settled   principles,   this   Court   held   that   all   the   three
dying   declarations   are   true,   voluntary   and   consistent.
Insofar as third dying declaration, this Court, in paras
(408)   to   (412)   held   that   the   dying   declaration   made
through   signs,   gestures   or   by   nods   are   admissible   as
evidence  and  that  proper  care  was  taken by  PW­30  Pawan
Kumar,   Metropolitan   Magistrate   and   the   third   dying
declaration   recorded   by   in   response   to   the   multiplechoice
  questions   by   signs,   gestures   made   by   the   victim
are   admissible   as   evidence.     In   the   third   dying
declaration,   the   victim   also   wrote   the   names   of   the
accused persons “Ram Singh, Mukesh, Vinay, Akshay, Vipin,
Raju”.   So far as the name of accused Vipin written by
the prosecutrix in the third dying declaration has been
elaborately considered by this Court in paras (150) and
(188) of the judgment.
36. Non­mention of use of iron rod in MLC, Ex.PW­49/A has
also been noticed by this Court in its judgment and this
Court has given reasons for not finding any fault in the
MLC,   Ex.PW­49/A.   The   submissions   of   Shri   Singh   that   on
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21.12.2012   the   prosecutrix   was   not   fit   to   record   her
dying declaration has also been rejected. With regard to
the   morphine   injection   which   was   given   to   prosecutrix,
the statement  of  Doctor,  the  time  of  injection  and  the
effect of morphine was categorically noted and considered
and no fault was found with the second dying declaration.
The   submission   having   been   noted,   considered   and   dealt
with   by   this   Court   in   the   judgment,   the   petitioners
cannot be allowed to reagitate the same issue again and
again. Non­mention of use of iron rod in the statement of
PW­1 has also been noted in detail by this Court. That in
second   dying   declaration   on   21.12.2012   the   prosecutrix
has   mentioned   the   use   of   iron   rod   by   which   she   was
injured   which   is   also   noted   by   the   Court.   This   Court
noted the injuries and medical evidence and has concluded
that accused had used iron rod. Those submissions having
been   raised,   dealt   with   by   this   Court   in   the   main
judgment, the petitioners cannot be allowed to raise the
same again.
37. With   regard   to   reports   regarding   DNA,   this   Court
elaborately   considered   the   whole   concept   of   DNA   and
30
reports   received.   The   attack   of   the   petitioners   on   the
ground of blood transfusion and other submissions on DNA
report having been considered and has rightly been relied
on by this Court, the submissions pertaining to DNA are
nothing   but   repitition   of   submissions   which   have   been
noted and rejected by this Court in the main judgment.
38. Contention of Mr. V.K. Singh is that accused Vinay
Sharma raised the plea of  alibi  that he had attended a
musical programme arranged by SCC Unit of the Church in
his   locality   and   he   was   there   from   08:15   pm   to
11.00/12.00   pm   on   16.12.2012   and   he   has   produced   the
video   clipping   to   prove   his   presence   there   in   the
programme  and  the  same  has  not  been considered  by  this
Court.
39. The plea of  alibi  put forth by accused Vinay Sharma
that he was present in the musical programme organised by
the   SCC   Unit   of   the   Church   in   the   DDA   Park   in   his
locality has been elaborately considered in paras (258)
to   (269).     In   para   (267)   of   the   judgment,   this   Court
referred   to   the   evidence   of   PW­83   Shri   Angad   Singh,
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Deputy Director (Horticulture), DDA who has deposed that
no   permission   was   granted   by   any   authority   to   organise
any   function   in   the   evening   of   16.12.2012   in   the   DDA
District Park, Hauz Khas, New Delhi.  This Court has also
referred to the evidence of PW­84 Father George Manimala
of   St.   Thomas   Church   and   PW­85   Brother   R.P.   Samuel,
Secretary, Ebenezer Assembly Church who have deposed that
their   church(es)   never   organised   any   musical
programme/event   in   the   DDA   District   Park,   Hauz   Khas   in
the   evening   of   Sunday   i.e.   on   16.12.2012.     While
considering the plea of  alibi  raised by Vinay Sharma in
paras  (258) to  (269)  referring  to  the  evidence  of  DW­5
Smt. Chamba Devi, mother of accused Vinay Sharma,   DW­7
Kishore Kumar Bhat and DW­9 Manu Sharma, this Court held
that the plea of alibi raised by accused Vinay Sharma was
not   acceptable.     Petitioner/accused   Vinay   Sharma   now
cannot reagitate the same point.
40. Plea of alibi raised by accused Vinay Sharma was also
considered in the light of the footprints lifted from the
bus   (Ext.P/1).     PW­46   A.D.   Shah,   Senior   Scientific
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Officer   (Fingerprints),   CFSL,   CBI   examined   the   chance
prints lifted from the bus marked as “Q.1” and “Q.4” was
found identical with the left palmprint and right thumb
impression of accused Vinay Sharma.   After referring to
the   evidence   of   PW­46   and   the   expert   report   (Ext.   PW46/D),
  this   Court   held   that   the   evidence   clearly
establishes the presence of accused Vinay Sharma in the
bus.   There is no merit in the contention that the plea
of alibi was not considered by this Court.
41. Likewise,   video   clippings   relied   upon   by   accused
Vinay Sharma (Ext.DW­10/1) was considered in para (263)
of   the   judgment   wherein   this   Court   held   that   accused
Vinay Sharma and accused Pawan Gupta were not in the DDA
District Park at 08:16 pm on 16.12.2012.
42. Now, coming to the submission regarding juvenility of
petitioner,   Vinay   Sharma.   The   issue   of   juvenile   was
considered   by   the   trial   court   and   trial   court   on   the
basis   of   the   materials   on   record   held   that   petitioner
No.1   was   not   a   juvenile.   Learned   counsel   for   the
respondent has referred to the order of the trial court
33
dated 10.01.2013 which fully supports his submission. The
trial court on being fully satisfied that petitioner is
not a juvenile has rightly rejected the application for
ossification test submitted by petitioner No.1. There is
no substance in this submission and no ground is made out
to review the judgment.
43. Now, coming to the submission of the learned counsel
for petitioner No.2 that he was juvenile at the time of
occurrence.   The   said   issue   was   also   considered   by   the
trial court and rejected. The trial court on the basis of
the material placed before it had rightly concluded that
petitioner No.2 was not a juvenile. Learned counsel for
the respondent has rightly referred to the proceedings of
trial   court   dated   10.09.2013.   In   this   respect   this
submission also does not furnish any ground for review of
the judgment.
44. Before   closing   we   need   to   reiterate   that   criminal
appeals   filed   by   the   appellants   (petitioners   herein)
against the judgment of the High Court were heard by this
Court   giving   them   sufficient   time   for   raising   all
possible   submissions.   The   hearing   in   criminal   appeals
34
continued   about   38   days.   The   learned   counsel   for   the
appellants/petitioners   had   made   elaborate   submissions
which   were   all   duly   considered   by   us   in   our   main
judgment.   In   these   review   petitions   no   ground   has   been
made   out   which   may   furnish   any   ground   to   review   the
judgment.   We,   thus,   find   no   merit   in   these   review
petitions   and   consequently,   the   review   petitions   are
dismissed.
........................CJI.
( DIPAK MISRA )
..........................J.
     ( R. BANUMATHI )
..........................J.
     ( ASHOK BHUSHAN )
NEW DELHI,
JULY 09, 2018.

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