NEW DELHI: Senior advocates appointed as amicus curiae by the Supreme Court in the sensational December 16 gangrape and murder case today refrained from making any comment on the verdict upholding the death penalty of four convicts.
Senior advocates Raju Ramachandran and Sanjay Hegde, who had assisted the top court as amicus curiae (friend of the court), said their role comes to an end with the verdict and now it is for the convicts' advocates to think about the future judicial course.
While Ramachandran had assisted the court in appeals of two convicts, Mukesh and Pawan, Hegde helped in the matters relating to other two -- Vinay and Akshay.
When asked to comment, Ramachandran said "Please understand the role of an amicus. The court has already given its verdict, I have nothing to comment".
Similar was the view of Hegde, who simply remarked "no comment", but quickly added "it is the prerogative of the counsel who represented the convicts to take a call on filing review petition".
When the two senior advocates were appointed amicus curiae, the lawyers for the accused had objections contending that "erroneous aspersions" were being cast in the minds of people regarding their capability in defending them.
The court had, however, later clarified that their appointment as amicus curiae in the case did not undermine the credentials of the lawyers engaged by the condemned prisoners.
During the arguments, Ramachandran had said the option of awarding jail term for the whole life to these convicts may also be considered.
Hegde had told the bench that there was no doubt that the crime committed was of "immense proportion", but as the evidence was not concrete, it does not warrant death penalty.