SC takes the noose off all 4 convicts in Delhi gang-rape case

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the death sentence of two more of the four men convicted in the brutal rape and murder of a young student in Delhi on 16 December 2012.

The apex court, which had earlier stayed the death sentence on two other convicts, on Monday stayed the execution of two more convicts - Akshay and Vinay – bringing to naught the capital punishment awarded to all the four rapists and murderers.

The Supreme Court had, in March, stayed the execution of two other convicts – Pawan and Mukesh.

"Today the argument heard by the Supreme Court in the Delhi gang rape case of December 16 and the death sentence, which was announced by the Delhi High Court was stayed by the top court on behalf of Akshay Kumar Singh and Vinay Sharma. My bail application was also pending on behalf of both of them, which was adjourned till the next date of hearing," said A P Singh, a lawyer for the accused.

The four along with two others – a juvenile and another who committed suicide inside the jail – attacked and raped a 23-year-old student and attacked her male friend inside a private bus on 16 December 2012 while returning home from a cinema show.

They threw her friend to the back of the bus after beating him with an iron rod, which was later used to torture her as well. After raping and torturing her they threw the couple from the bus. The young woman succumbed to her injuries 13 days later while battling for her life while her friend survived.

The four were convicted in September last after the case was fast-tracked, while a juvenile was sentenced to three years in a detention centre.

Ram Singh, the sixth accused in this case, was found dead in jail in March last year.

The Delhi High Court had confirmed the sentence of Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh in the Delhi gangrape that shook the nation's conscience and led to widespread protests.

A bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani had confirmed the sentence to all four accused, saying the offence committed by them fell in the category of rarest of the rare and upheld their conviction.