SC stays execution of death penalty of 2 convicts in Delhi gang rape case till March 31

SC stays execution of death penalty of 2 convicts in Delhi gang rape case till March 31

The Supreme Court on Saturday stayed till March 31 the execution of death penalty of two of the four convicts in the Delhi gang rape and murder case, a couple of days after the Delhi High Court upheld the punishment awarded to them by the trial court. The order was passed by a Bench of the Apex Court, comprising Justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Shiva Kirti Singh

The order came after two convicts in the Dec 16, 2012 gang-rape moved the Supreme Court on Saturday challenging the Delhi High Court verdict upholding their death sentences.

The accused, Mukesh and Pawan Gupta, contended that they were "denied fair trial under the garb of day-to-day trial and (under) torture they were compelled to accept the prosecution story which is not only concocted but also contrary to the facts". The Delhi High Court  on Thursday upheld the death sentences awarded to four convicts in the gang rape case, saying that their "barbaric" act is "not worthy of human condonation" and society cannot be a a spectator to "such depraved behaviour". A Division bench comprised of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani also dismissed the appeals of the four convicts - Mukesh, 26; Akshay Thakur, 28; Pawan Gupta, 19; and Vinay Sharma, 20 - challenging the Sep 13, 2013 trial court verdict sentencing them to death.

A 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gang-raped and brutally sexually assaulted by six men, including a juvenile, in a moving bus. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle, stripped of clothing, to die by the roadside on the cold December 2012 night. The woman died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29, 2012 at Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where she was airlifted for specialised treatment. One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi's Tihar Jail. A juvenile involved in the crime was Aug 31, 2013 sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum term for a juvenile under the law.

The Apex Court, which considered the plea of Mukesh and Pawan Gupta, asked its registry to “forthwith” communicate its order to the Tihar Jail authorities.

The petition seeking a stay of the execution of death sentence was moved by advocate M L Sharma.