New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday appointed two senior counsel as amicus curiae to assist the court in the hearing of the appeals by the four convicts sentenced to death in the December 16 Delhi gang rape case, saying the matter was serious.
Noting the gravity of the whole issue, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice Kurian Joseph appointed senior counsel Raju Ramachandran and Sanjay Hegde as amicus curiae to assist the court in the hearing of appeals by the four – Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur.
While Ramachandran would assist the court in the hearing of the appeals by Mukesh and Pawan, Hegde would assist the court in the hearing of appeals by Sharma and Thakur.
Making the appointment, the bench observed: “We must express our concern in the matter. We feel the gravity in the whole issue. Sometimes there are many perceptions and we don’t want to miss anything. We would like to be assisted by the amicus curiae in the matter.”
The court then adjourned the hearing to July 18 to give time to them to go through the papers.
The apex court had on April 4 commenced the final hearing on the appeals by the four December 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape convicts challenging the Delhi High Court verdict upholding their death sentence.
On March 13, 2014, the Delhi High Court bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani had upheld the death sentence of all four.
Mukesh, Pawan, Sharma, Thakur and Ram Singh along with a juvenile were accused of gang rape and assault on a 23-year-old paramedical student inside a private bus. The victim and her friend were thrown out of the bus after the crime.
Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide while in incarceration.
The victim died of grave intestinal injuries on December 29, 2012 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital.