Delhi gang rape: Death penalty for two men put on hold

Sentenced rapists (from left to right): Vinay, Pawan, Mukesh, Akshay Image copyright Other
Image caption The four men were given the death sentence last September

India's supreme court has put on hold the death sentence of two of the four men convicted of the gang rape and murder of a student in Delhi.

The court suspended the execution of Mukesh Singh and Pawan Gupta while their appeal is heard. The other two men are also expected to appeal.

The appeals follow the high court's decision this week to uphold the death penalty handed down last September.

The brutal gang rape in December 2012 led to protests and new anti-rape laws.

The 23-year-old physiotherapy student was attacked on a bus that she had boarded with her male friend as they returned home from watching a film. Her friend was also beaten up.

The woman, who has never been officially named because of legal restrictions, died from injuries 13 days later.

Six men were arrested. One of them, a juvenile, was sentenced to three years in a reform facility last August.

Another suspect, Ram Singh, was found dead in his jail last March, having apparently taken his own life.

The remaining four men deny the charges.

Their appeal against the death sentence to Delhi's high court earlier this week was rejected.

In response, the lawyers for Singh and Gupta filed a petition to the supreme court saying their defence had been completely ignored by the high court judges.

The supreme court is due to hear their appeal on 31 March.

Lawyers for the other two defendants, Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, are expected to file a similar appeal.

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