The Supreme Court will on Friday hear an appeal filed by December 16 gangrape convicts — Akshay, Vinay Sharma, Pawan and Mukesh. They had challenged their death sentence awarded by the Delhi High Court in the apex court. The top court had on April 4 begun final hearing of the convicts’ appeal almost two years after staying their execution.
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Two of the four death-row convicts had written to Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Deepak Misra, stating that they do not approve of the defence counsel appointed by the court to argue their case before the top court as they had given statements against them to the media in the past.
The trial court had in September 2013 awarded death sentences to the convicts. Six months later, the Delhi High Court upheld their conviction and sentence. All the convicts moved the apex court in 2014, which stayed their execution.
Six people, including a juvenile, had assaulted the woman in a moving bus in South Delhi. Later, the accused threw out the victim and her male friend at an isolated spot. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012, triggering nation-wide protests that resulted in giving more teeth to laws related to rape and other formes of sexual harassment.