Hearing on reference in December 16 gang-rape case deferred
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday further deferred to October 8 hearing on the death penalty reference against four convicts in the December 16 gang-rape and murder case of a 23-year-old paramedic.
A bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani postponed the matter after the counsel for the convicts told the bench that they would file the appeal soon.
The counsel for convicts Mukesh (26), Akshay Thakur (28), Pawan Gupta (19) and Vinay Sharma (20), who were awarded death penalty by the trial court, also informed the bench that they have received the necessary set of documents from the police.
However, the counsel told the bench that they are yet to receive the translation of the victim`s dying declaration from Hindi to English language and also the relevant statements of witnesses under section 161 and 164 CrPC.
Taking note of the submissions made by the counsel for the convicts, the bench fixed the matter for October 8.
The high court on September 25 had directed the police to supply to offenders the necessary set of documents.
The bench had asked the high court Registry to furnish a translation.
On September 13, while awarding capital punishment to Mukesh, Akshay, Pawan and Vinay, the trial court had referred the case to the high court for confirmation of the sentence.
The trial court has to refer each death penalty case to the high court for confirmation of the punishment.
The four were awarded death penalty in the gang-rape case by the trial court which said it fell in the rarest of rare category as the crime was committed against the "defenceless" girl in a "beastly" and "hair-raising" manner.
"Accordingly, the convicts be hanged by neck till they are dead," the trial court had said, noting that the inhuman and ghastly acts of the convicts shocked the collective conscience of the nation and deserves exemplary punishment.
Prime accused Ram Singh (34) was found dead in a cell in Tihar Jail in March and proceedings against him were abated. On August 31, the juvenile accused was convicted and sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reformation home.
On December 16 last year, the paramedic student was gang-raped in a moving bus in south Delhi after the convicts lured her and her male friend, who was also assaulted, on board the vehicle, which was found to be plying illegally.
The victim`s 28-year-old friend suffered fractures in his limbs. The girl succumbed to her injuries on December 29 in a Singapore hospital.
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