The Supreme Court on Saturday stayed till March 31 the death penalty of two men convicted for the gangrape and murder of a young medical student in a moving bus in Delhi in December 16, 2012.
“We stay the execution of Mukesh and Pawan till March 31, 2014,” a Bench comprising Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh said.
The Bench 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 petition seeking a stay of the execution of death sentence was moved by advocate M L Sharma.
When the Bench wanted to know whether he was appearing for all the four convicts, Sharma said he was representing only Mukesh and Pawan.
Both convicts had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court on Thursday upheld the death sentence of Mukesh, 27, Pawan Gupta, 20, Akshay Thakur, 29, and Vinay Sharma, 21, awarded by a trial court.
The Delhi High Court while confirming the death sentence had said the crime was “premeditated” and “callous” and one that “left an indelible scar on the social order.”
The court had rejected the appeal of the four men against the trial court order, saying to extend a “protective arm to the convicts would be both unnatural and ludicrous.”
On December 16, 2012, the 23-year-old student and her male friend were attacked by six men after they boarded a private bus. Her friend was thrown to the back of the bus after being battered with an iron rod, which was later used to brutally violate her. The couple was then thrown from the bus.
The young woman died from her injuries 13 days later.