A special bench of the Supreme Court, hearing plea of death convicts in Nirbhaya rape and murder case, on Monday sat two hours extra to ensure speedy disposal of the case that has been pending in the court for more than two years.
The trial court had concluded proceedings in the Nirbhaya case within nine months and awarded death sentence to four accused.
The Delhi high court also took less than six months to conclude hearing on their appeal and affirmed the sentence but proceedings in the apex court have not been as fast as in the subordinate courts. The case is pending in the SC since March 2014 when it had stayed execution of their death sentence.
The proceedings in the Supreme Court got delayed as the case was to be heard by a special three-judge bench and it was difficult for judges, who sit in different combinations, to assemble to hear the case.
Taking note of delay, a bench of Justices Dipak Mira, C Nagappan and R Banumathi said that it would take up the case on each Monday and Friday after lunch from July 18 onwards. It said that the bench would sit up to 6pm, two hours beyond court's working time, to ensure timely disposal of the case.
There are eight lawyers who will argue in the case, including two amicus curiae appointed by the court, to defend the convicts. The court also allowed parents of the victim to argue the case.
Despite all four death convicts being defended by their lawyer, the apex court has appointed senior advocates Raju Ramachandaran and Sanjay Hegde to defend them.
Nirbhaya, 23, was brutally assaulted and gang raped by six people in a moving bus in south Delhi on the night of December 16, 2012, and thrown out of the vehicle with her male friend. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.