Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed execution of two men convicted for their role in the gang-rape and murder of a physiotherapy student in Delhi in 2012.
The apex court bench comprising of Justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and NV Ramana stayed the execution of Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur after the two men appealed against Delhi High Court verdict upholding their conviction and the punishment. A fast-track court in 2013 had had held them guilty and awarded death penalty.
The said since the death sentence of other convicts have already been suspended by this court, the same order has to be passed.
The court proceedings also witnessed some confusion as the bench queried whether it could hear the plea in the light of observation made by Chief Justice R M Lodha that the cases of death convicts be heard by not less than three-judge bench.
The bench called for Supreme Court registrar who said no such notification has been issued so far in this regard. The bench then went ahead with the hearing and passed the stay order.
The HC had on March 13 this year upheld their conviction and award of death penalty by terming the offence as "extremely fiendish" and "unparallelled in the history of criminal jurisprudence" and said the "exemplary punishment" was the need of the hour.
Earlier, the top court had stayed the execution of two other convicts -- Mukesh (27) and Pawan Gupta.
The SC bench today said since the death sentence of other convicts have already been suspended by this court, the same order has to be passed.
Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Ram Singh along with a juvenile were accused of gang-rape and assault on a 23-year-old paramedical student inside a private bus. The victim and her friend were thrown out of the bus after the crime.
Ram Singh died in police custody on March 11, 2013 in the Tihar Jail.
The juvenile was convicted of rape and murder and given the maximum sentence of three years imprisonment. On September 10, 2013, the four remaining adult defendants were found guilty of rape and murder and, three days later, they were sentenced to death by hanging.
The entire country was shaken when Nirbhaya, a para-medical student, succumbed to the deadly injuries perpetrated on her by six men in a moving bus.
She along with her male friend, was thrown naked off the moving bus, on the road after being brutally assaulted.
The victim died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29, 2012, at Singapore`s Mount Elizabeth Hospital where she was airlifted to for specialised treatment.
With PTI inputs