New Delhi, Feb. 15 -- In a bid to expedite hearing in death penalty cases -- possibly prompted by delays in the hanging of the four men convicted of the December 2012 gang-rape and murder in Delhi that shocked the country - the Supreme Court has decided that it will list for hearing, appeals from high courts challenging death penalty sentences within six months from the date on which the matter is admitted by the top court for hearing.

Such appeals will be listed before three-judge bench within six months irrespective of whether all documents and records relating to the case have been filed or not.

These directions were given by the apex court on February 12 by way of an office order issued by the court on its administrative side. The ord...