Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Saturday stayed the death sentence execution of the two convicts, Mukesh and Pawan, in the infamous December 16, 2012 gang-rape case.
Earlier in the day, the two convicts had moved the apex court challenging the Delhi High Court verdict upholding their death sentence.
"We stay the execution of Mukesh and Pawan till March 31, 2014," a bench comprising justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Shiva Kirti Singh said in an urgent hearing on a holiday.
The bench, which considered the plea of Mukesh and Pawan Gupta, asked its registry to "forthwith" communicate its order to the Tihar Jail authorities.
"We direct the registry to communicate the order to the prison authorities forthwith," it said and directed the registry to place the matter before the Chief Justice of India within eight days for allocating it to the appropriate bench.
The accused, Mukesh and Pawan Gupta, have 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 Thursday upheld the death sentences awarded to four convicts in the gang rape, 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 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.
(With PTI inputs)