The four were convicted for raping and murdering a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus in South Delhi on December 16, 2012. The prosecution had moved HC for a confirmation of the death penalty soon after the trial court order in September 2013.
The convicts had moved an appeal in the High Court claiming their innocence. The High Court had fixed the hearing of the death penalty reference on a day-to-day basis against convicts Mukesh (26), Akshay Thakur (28), Pawan Gupta (19) and Vinay Sharma (20) from Wednesday.
While awarding capital punishment to Mukesh, Akshay, Pawan and Vinay, Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna had referred the case to the 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. The trial court had also granted 30 days time to the convicts to file their appeal before the high court.
The four convicts were awarded death sentence in the brutal gangrape case by the sessions court which said it fell in the rarest of rare category as the crime was committed against a 23-year-old "defenceless" girl in a "beastly" and "hair-raising" manner.
"Accordingly, the convicts be hanged by neck till they are dead," the trial court had said after noting that the inhuman and ghastly acts of the convicts shocked the collective conscience of the nation and deserves exemplary punishment.
Prime accused Ram Singh (34) was found dead in the cell in Tihar Jail in March and proceedings against him were abated. On August 31, the juvenile accused was convicted and sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reformation home.
On the night of December 16, last year, the paramedic student was gangraped in a moving bus in south Delhi after the convicts lured her and her 28-year-old male friend, who was also assaulted, on board the vehicle, which was later found to be plying illegally.
The victim's friend, a software engineer, suffered fractures in his limbs. The girl succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012 in a Singapore hospital.
(With PTI inputs)