The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Delhi High Court for rushing through the criminal appeals and death reference cases relating to the December 16, 2012, gang-rape incident in which the trial court had awarded death sentence to the accused.
After hearing counsel Manohar Lal Sharma, a three-judge Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Shiva Kirti Singh asked the High Court not to proceed with the hearing of the appeals insofar as the two accused Mukesh and Pawan Kumar Gupta were concerned, till they were supplied with the documents sought by them in Hindi.
The CJI told the Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra: “In a death reference case, the court has to follow certain procedure. What is the urgency ?”
The ASG said: “The appeals filed by accused Mukesh and Pawan Kumar Gupta have been assigned numbers, but they are defective as they are sketchy appeals. The defects have to be cured.”
The CJI asked the ASG: “Is it not the duty of the High Court to satisfy that the appeals are in order before taking them up? As a State you cannot deny the basic things to the accused, who are facing death sentence. They are only asking for translation of the trial court judgment.”