Two of the four death row convicts in the December 16 gang-rape case on Monday moved an application before the Delhi high court seeking Hindi translation of certain documents including the trial court's conviction and sentence orders in the case.
The counsel for convicts Mukesh and Pawan told a bench of justices Reva Khetrapal and Pratibha Rani, which is hearing the trial court's reference for confirming their death sentence, that he has filed the "proforma appeal" on behalf of his two clients but they are under objection as certain documents are yet to be annexed.
Advocate M L Sharma, appearing for the two convicts, also told the court that he has moved an application seeking Hindi version of the first information report, chargesheet, evidence, September 10 judgment and September 13 sentence order.
Seeking the court to adjourn the case till the time he filed formal appeals, Sharma said as the documents are in English, he was seeking Hindi translation of these papers. The bench said this court cannot hear the matter immediately, as one of the judges is down with high fever and adjourned the matter for October 28.
Sharma had on October 9 informed the bench that he would represent Mukesh and Pawan as their counsel had withdrawn from the case.
The bench had also directed the prosecution to supply the documents pertaining to convict Mukesh to Sharma. The counsel, who was earlier representing Pawan, had also handed over the paperbook pertaining to the convict to Sharma.
Advocate V K Anand, who was earlier representing Mukesh, had informed the court that he intended to withdraw from the case as the family members of the convicts were interfering in his work to file the appeal, at the instance of certain people, including advocates. The bench was also informed by special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan that advocate Vivek Sharma, who represented convict Pawan, telephonically informed about his intention to withdraw from the case.
Two other convicts in the case, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, had on October 7 filed their joint appeal against the trial court's conviction and sentencing orders of September 10 and 13, respectively.
All four of them were convicted and awarded death penalty for raping the 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012.
The trial court, while awarding capital punishment to the convicts, had observed the case fell in the rarest-of-rare category as the crime was committed against the "defenceless" girl in a "beastly" and "hair-raising" manner and referred the case to high court for confirmation of the sentence.
The trial court has to refer each death penalty case to the high court for confirmation of the punishment.
Prime accused Ram Singh, 34, was found dead in his cell in Tihar Jail in March and proceedings against him were abated. On August 31, the juvenile accused in the case was convicted and sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reformation home.
Image: Demonstrators shout slogans outside the juvenile court in New Delhi against the sentencing of the minor convict in the Delhi gang-rape case