A view of the Supreme Court in New Delhi 20190924
A view of the Supreme Court in New Delhi
Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi: India’s Supreme Court judge Justice R. Banumathi on Friday fainted in the courtroom while dictating the order on the Centre’s plea seeking separate hanging of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

It was a moment of chaos in the courtroom as Justice Banumathi suddenly fainted, momentarily sending shivers among the people assembled in the court for the Nirbhaya hearing.

The woman counsels representing the accused in the matter shouted for help and asked the female security staff to rush to the dais to help the judge. Soon, Justice Banumathi regained consciousness and she was taken to the judges’ chamber by the security staff. Later, she was taken to the in-house dispensary on the premises of the court on a wheelchair.

Justice A.S. Bopanna, while rising, said that the order on this matter would be passed in-chamber. Justice Banumathi was heading a three-judge bench. The other judges on the bench comprised Justices Ashok Bhushan and Justice Bopanna.

It is learnt that Justice Banumathi had high fever and apparently a strong medicine had an adverse reaction on her health.

Meanwhile, Seema Kushwaha, the advocate for the prosecution side, said the courts will have to issue a death-warrant, sooner or later, and the accused will be hanged in connection with the 2012 Delhi gangrape cas.

“All this will take hardly 20 to 30 days, the accused will definitely be hanged (for their crimes). The only thing is that the date of death warrants is not decided as of yet, but the court will have to issue it one day,” Kushwaha said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the Delhi government, said that convict Vinay Sharma was not kept in solitary confinement as it was argued by convict’s lawyer AP Singh in the Supreme Court.

Vinay filed the petition in the top court against President Ram Nath Kovind’s decision to reject his mercy plea.

The convict, through his lawyer AP Singh, has requested the death penalty to be commuted to life imprisonment.

On February 1, Vinay’s mercy petition was rejected by the President.

On January 31, the death sentence of four convicts Mukesh Singh, Pawan Gupta, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur were stayed by a lower court till further orders.

All the four convicts are currently lodged in Tihar Jail.

The case pertains to the gang-rape and brutalising of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on the night of December 16, 2012, by six people including a juvenile in Delhi. She died at a Singapore hospital a few days later.

One of the five adults accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail during the trial of the case.