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  • Solanki Barua

#CaseBrief: Mukesh and Another vs. State of NCT Delhi

rape case
#CaseBrief: Mukesh and Another vs. State of NCT Delhi

Citation: (2017) 6 SCC 1


The brutal and heinous incident that unfolded on the night of December 16, 2012, in Delhi, shocked the nation and brought attention to the urgent need for reforms in the criminal justice system and societal attitudes towards gender-based violence. The victim, later identified as Jyoti Singh, was referred to as "Nirbhaya," meaning fearless, to protect her identity. The case sparked widespread protests and ignited a national conversation on women's safety and justice in India.


Facts of the case:

At Munirka, Jyoti Singh and her male companion boarded a bus for Dwarka that fateful night. They had no idea that this voyage would become a terrifying one. The bus had veered off course, and the doors had closed. A group of six men, including the bus driver, teased the couple when they complained. As things got worse, there was a violent altercation in which Jyoti's companion got beat up, had his mouth shut, and was rendered unconscious. The offenders then viciously raped Jyoti and beat her with an iron rod while the vehicle was still moving. Due to the severity of the attack, Jyoti suffered serious wounds to her genitalia, intestines, and abdomen.


  1. Whether the accused individuals, including the bus driver, are guilty of committing offenses including rape, murder, and other related charges.

  2. Whether the legal and criminal justice system can provide justice to the victim and serve as a deterrent for such heinous crimes.

  3. What measures should be taken to address systemic issues related to women's safety and gender-based violence?


Contention with the Parties:

The accused persons were, according to the prosecution, actively involved in carrying out the alleged offense. Based on the strength of the evidence, they contend that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, supported by the testimony of eyewitnesses and forensic discoveries. By contesting the veracity of forensic studies and the reliability of witnesses, the defense, on the other hand, calls into question the integrity of the evidence. Concerning the admissibility of certain evidence, the defense also presents legal defenses.

Respondent's contention: The attorney stated that there is sufficient evidence to punish every convict. The crime is classified as the "rarest of the rare cases" because it was planned out in advance. With the wrong motive, the prisoners had convinced the prosecutrix and her friend to board the empty bus.

 The prosecution claimed that "no mercy should be shown to these merciless" and demanded the death penalty for all guilty parties. The death penalty would serve as a deterrent given the daily rise in crimes against women. The victim received no mercy from the prisoners, and the same ought to be applied to them.

 Last but not least, since the offense is against society at large, the death penalty is required.


Judgement and Reasoning:

All of the defendants, including Mukesh, were found guilty by the trial court in September 2013 of a variety of charges, including gang rape, murder, and kidnapping. The severity of the act and the necessity of a potent deterrent to stop similar occurrences in the future were underlined in the ruling. The convictions were subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court and the High Court. The accused was given the death penalty in the Supreme Court's ruling, which emphasized the seriousness of the crimes and referenced the violent nature of the assault. Because the case fits within the "rarest of rare" category, the court said, the highest penalty could be imposed. The court's ruling highlighted the public's indignation and the victim's right to justice. The death penalty and the convictions had broad public support, but several legal experts and human rights advocates expressed reservations regarding the death penalty as a form of retribution. To combat crimes against women, strict restrictions were supported by the majority of people, nevertheless. The case reaffirmed the importance of a strong judicial system to handle crimes of this kind as well as the concepts of justice and fairness. It emphasized how critical it is to provide justice quickly and effectively, particularly when it comes to instances of severe abuse against women.


Analysis of the decision upheld:

The tragic Nirbhaya case represents the pressing need for legislative and societal changes to protect women's safety and dignity and is a chapter in India's history. While offering some justice, the court cases also brought attention to the problems with the criminal justice system. Amendments to penal statutes about sexual offenses were among the legislative reforms prompted by the tragedy. To maintain a safer environment for everyone, society ought to confront and address the larger concerns of gender-based violence, which this incident serves as a reminder of.


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