The Supreme Court asked the Delhi high court not to rush through with the hearing of the death reference and appeals in the December 16 gang rape and murder case and directed the prosecution to supply the copies of judgement and other trial records in Hindi to the convicts.
"Why is the high court rushing through the appeal even without (their) numbering. We have to follow the procedure."
A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said while asking the prosecution to make available the Hindi translation of the trial court documents to two death row convicts – Mukesh Singh and Pawan Kumar Gupta -- within 10 days.
The apex court which was hearing the appeal filed by the duo through their lawyer M L Sharma against the high court order rejecting their plea, said "Is it not the duty of the high court to satisfy that the appeal is in order before taking it up for hearing."
"Can state deny these basic things to the accused? They are asking the copy of the judgement, final order and evidence which are in English to be translated in Hindi," observed the bench, also comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and Shiva Kirti Singh.
"Why don't you translate and give (it to them). They are facing death sentence," the bench told Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra.
"The high court should not show this kind of anxiety in hearing appeal. Whether high court is deciding all death sentence cases expeditiously," the bench said.
Luthra said the plea for translated copy of judgement, final order and evidence was a dilatory tactic by the convicts.
However, the bench said, "The accused must have the satisfaction that they were given full opportunity."
The ASG submitted that appeals by the convicts are sketchy and defective and being heard along with the death reference.
The court gave a week's time to the two convicts to file additional grounds in their appeal.
Vinay, Akshay, Pawan and Mukesh were sentenced to death by a trial court in September for brutally gang-raping and assaulting a paramedical student on a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012.
The woman succumbed to her injuries on December 29 at Singapore's MountElizabethHospital, where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.