A division bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani said advocate M.L. Sharma, representing Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh in the case, misled the apex court by saying he was not granted permission to file additional grounds for arguments on appeal.
The bench said Sharma never made such a prayer for filing additional grounds for arguments on appeal before the high court.
“They never made such prayer before us. This prayer was made for the first time before the Supreme Court. We have given them liberty to file additional grounds for arguments,” the court said.
The Supreme Court Tuesday said the high court was rushing through with the hearing of death reference and appeals in the case.
The bench said: “The report says we are trying to rush up the arguments. We have never told them not to argue. We have never asked them to rush. There is no such thing is rushing the arguments.”
The bench also asked Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan if the Supreme Court was informed about Sharma filing a false affidavit in the high court.
Krishnan told the bench that the state was not given the opportunity to file a reply.
Sharma had filed a false affidavit in the high court saying he went to Mumbai to argue a case before Justice D.Y. Chandrachur and hence would not be available to put forth his arguments.
However, Krishnan pointed out that Justice Chandrachur had already taken over as the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court.
Sharma has been making excuses before the bench to avoid the hearing in the high court, which also made the bench warn him of appointing amicus curiae in the case to represent his two clients.
The high court posted the matter for Nov 25.
The trial court Sep 13 awarded death sentence to Mukesh, 26, Akshay, 28, Pawan, 19, and Vinay, 20, convicted in the case, and referred the case to the high court for confirmation of their sentence.
A 23-year-old physiotherapy student was brutally gang raped in a moving bus by six people, including a juvenile. The accused then threw her and her male companion out of the vehicle, stripped of clothing, to die by the roadside on the cold December night.
The woman died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where she was airlifted for specialised treatment.
One of the six accused was found dead in a cell in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. A juvenile involved in the crime was Aug 31 sent by the Juvenile Justice Board to a reform home for three years, the maximum term under the juvenile law.