The lawyer of the 2012 infamous Nirbhaya gangrape and murder case which heralded tumultuous weeks of criticism and analysis pertaining to women’s safety in India announced on Thursday that he would reward Rs. 10 lakh to anyone who could prove that iron rod had been used to violate the victim.
The remark from the lawyer has come at a time when hearing in the case has entered in the final stages in the Supreme Court, prompting the defence counsel to explore all possibilities to ensure that their clients escape death verdict.
ML Sharma, the lawyer for convicts Mukesh and Pawan, sought to give a fresh twist by contesting the police theory that they inserted an iron rod into the victim’s body through the vagina and pulled out her internal organs.
“Something which is not possible medically was said by police – that an iron rod was repeatedly inserted and intestines pulled out,” Sharma said before a three-judge special bench on Monday headed by Justice Deepak Mishra.
The Delhi High Court upheld the decision of death penalty awarded by a trial court for the four adult men in the case. The matter was then taken to the Supreme Court.
“The post-mortem report prepared by the Singapore hospital (where the victim received treatment) says the uterus and ovaries were intact. Going by the human anatomy, if a rod is inserted through the vagina, it cannot reach the intestines without breaking the uterus,” Sharma said.
“I have already declared that I will pay Rs. 10 lakh award to a doctor or anybody who can prove as per medical science that without destroying the uterus, the intestines can be pulled out using an iron rod,” he said.
“I am sure they cannot. The police are lying. The rod theory was added later to sensationalise the whole case and also to provoke public anger.” The 2012 incident sparked nationwide outrage and spurred Parliament to tighten India’s rape laws and pass legislation lowering to 16 the age at which someone can be tried for serious crimes.
Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi, who was witnessing the hearing seated in the visitor’s gallery, broke down as she heard Sharma reading her daughter’s dying declaration.