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SC stays bus rape sentences

New Delhi, July 14: The Supreme Court today stayed the death sentence of two more convicts in the Delhi bus gang rape case, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, after they filed appeals.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai said that as the death sentence of the two other convicts, Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta, had already been stayed by the apex court on March 15 this year, the same order had to be passed for Vinay and Akshay.

The convicts have challenged Delhi High Court’s March 13 judgment upholding the death penalty awarded to them by the sessions court in September last year.

Under the CrPC, death sentences passed by sessions courts must be mandatorily confirmed by the high court. They become final unless the convicts file an appeal before the Supreme Court.

The high court had upheld the sentences of Vinay, 20, Akshay, 28, Mukesh, 29, and Pawan, 19, ruling that if such a “revolting, gruesome and spine-chilling” crime did not qualify as “rarest of the rare”, possibly no other crime did.

The four were among six persons who had raped the victim, a trainee paramedic, after luring her and her male friend into their bus on December 16, 2012. The 23-year-old victim died almost two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.