Just as the hearing in the Centre's plea for separate hanging of death row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case wrapped up for the day, the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, was on the verge of adjourning the matter till the Patiala House court took it up next.
However, just before dictating the order Justice Banumathi took ill. The lawyers involved suggested that the Bench could retire to their chambers and pass orders there.
Justice Bhushan however took over from her and was in the process of dictating the order when Bhanumati J blacked out for a few seconds. Her fellow judges and the court staff rushed to attend to her as she regained consciousness. They then assisted her back towards the chambers and Justice Bopanna stated that they would publish the order later on.
Soon after it was learnt that she had been keeping unwell and was running temperature.
She was taken for medical treatment on a wheelchair, and is reportedly now in a stable condition.
The bench was hearing the petition filed by the Central Government against the February 5 judgment of the Delhi High Court which disallowed separate hangings of the four convicts, until they all of them have exhausted their legal remedies.
The High Court had granted them 7 days time to exhaust their available legal remedies. After that period, Tihar jail authorities moved a fresh plea before ASJ Dharmender Rana of Patiala House Courts seeking fresh death warrants.
The plea was adjourned by the Trial Court on Thursday till February 17 taking note of the fact that the SC was scheduled to pronounce verdict on convict Vinay Sharma's plea against mercy rejection today.
Today, the same bench dismissed Vinay Sharma's petition.
Noting that Trial Court is set to hear the plea for death warrants on February 17, the SC adjourned hearing in Centre's plea till February 20.
"We make it clear that the pendency of these petitions may not be treated as an impediment for the Trial Court to consider the matter on its own merits", the bench clarified in the order.