SC delays noose for two Delhi rape-murder convicts

The Supreme Court today stayed the execution of two of the four men sentenced to death by the Delhi High Court on Thursday for the vicious gang-rape of a medical intern on a Delhi bus in December 2012.

Supreme CourtThe two convicts who have been spared from the noose for now are Mukesh Gupta and Pawan Gupta. A special bench of Justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Shiva Kirti Singh stayed the execution of the death sentence till 31 March.

Earlier today, the duo had moved the Supreme Court contending that they were "denied a fair trial under the garb of day-to-day trial'', and they were coerced by third degree methods to accept the prosecution story - which they alleged is not only concocted but also contrary to the facts.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday upheld the death sentences awarded to of the four convicts in the gang rape, saying that their "barbaric" act is "not worthy of human condonation" and society cannot be a mere spectator to "such depraved behaviour".

Of the six accused in the gang-rape that caused the death of the victim, one died in jail in an apparent suicide; while another is a minor and has got off with three years in a correction home.

The apex court today directed the registry to communicate its stay order forthwith. It also directed the registry to place the matter before Chief Justice P Sathasivam so that it can be listed before an appropriate bench.

"We stay the execution of the sentences of Pawan and Mukesh till 31 March 2014. We direct the registry to take this matter before the chief justice for registering before an appropriate bench. We direct the court registry to furnish a copy of this order to prison authorities forthwith," said Justice Desai.

Counsel M L Sharma appeared for petitioners Mukesh and Pawan Gupta.