NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed till further orders the execution of death penalty of two of the four convicts in the December 16 gangrape and murder case. The Supreme Court stayed the execution of Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, who were convicted along with Mukesh and Pawan Gupta, whose death sentence has already been stayed.
A Bench of Justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and N V Ramana said since the death sentence of other convicts have already been suspended by this court, the same order has to be passed.
Vinay and Akshay had moved court, seeking a stay on their execution and reversal of the Delhi High Court verdict upholding their conviction and the punishment.
On March 13, the Delhi High Court had upheld their conviction and award of death penalty by terming the offence “extremely fiendish” and “unparallelled in the history of criminal jurisprudence”, and said the exemplary punishment was the need of the hour. It had also said that if this case was not “the rarest of rare cases”, then “there is likely to be none”.
The court proceedings witnessed some confusion, as the Bench queried whether it could hear the plea in the light of observations made by Chief Justice R M Lodha that the cases of death convicts should be heard by not less than a three-judge Bench.
It called for SC Registrar, who said no such notification has been issued so far, after which the Bench then went ahead with the hearing, and passed the stay order.
Besides seeking setting aside of the High Court verdict, Vinay and Akshay, in their appeal, have also sought a stay on their execution as an interim relief.
On the night of December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old paramedic was brutally assaulted and gangraped by six persons in a moving bus in South Delhi. Thrown out of the vehicle with her male friend, succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
Man Set Free
A man, accused of raping a woman on the false promise of marriage and cheating her, has been acquitted by a Delhi court as the alleged victim deposed that the physical relations between them were consensual and she was now married to him.
Additional Sessions Judge Nivedita Anil Sharma freed the man, a resident of Ramesh Nagar in West Delhi, saying there was no material evidence on record to suggest that the woman was ever raped, cheated and beaten by him or that he molested her.
“It is clear that the case of the prosecution is neither reliable nor believable and is not trustworthy and the prosecution has failed to establish the offences of rape, cheating, beating or outraging the modesty,” the court said.
“The evidence of the woman makes it highly improbable that such an incident ever took place. In fact, she has deposed that she had physical relations with the accused with her free consent,” it said.
According to the prosecution, the woman in her complaint had alleged that between January 2012 and September 2013, the man had raped her at various places, including a resort in Manesar, on the false promise of marriage.
She had alleged that he also cheated her by not disclosing his real name and also beat and molested her.
The woman, changed her statement before the court and deposed that she knew the man and had met her two years ago.