New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the death warrant issued by a Gujarat court in the execution of a 22-year-old man convicted in the rape and murder of a three-year-old child in Surat in 2018.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant stayed the death warrant, as it was issued before the limitation period earmarked for filing a Special Leave Petition against the High Court order could be lapsed. The apex court also issued notice on the matter.
The top court queried the state counsel as to how could an order of this kind be passed despite a reported order of the Supreme Court on a similar issue in the Amroha murder case.
According to the law, a challenge against a death sentence could be filed within 60 days. However, in this case, the death warrant was issued merely 33 days after the High Court’s order.
The top court directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing Gujarat, to take instructions in the matter, and stayed the death warrant.
The Gujarat High Court on December 27, 2019 upheld the conviction of the accused.