Rape and Murder of 3-year-old in Surat: SC stays death warrant issued to convict before expiry of time to file appeal
Litigation News

Rape and Murder of 3-year-old in Surat: SC stays death warrant issued to convict before expiry of time to file appeal

The death warrant was issued before the 60-day time limit within which an appeal against conviction can be filed.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today stayed the death warrant issued by a Gujarat Court for the execution of a 22-year-old man convicted for the rape and murder of a 3-year-old child in Surat in 2018.(Anil Surendra Yadav vs the State of Gujarat)

The order of the death warrant was stayed by the Apex Court in light of the fact that the same was issued before the limitation period earmarked for filing a Special Leave petition against the High Court's ruling had lapsed.

The conviction of the petitioner was upheld by the Gujarat High Court on December 27, 2019. By law, a challenge against a death sentence can be filed within sixty days. However, in this case, the death warrant came to be issued merely thirty-three days after the High Court's order.

While issuing notice in the matter today, the Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant wondered how an order of this kind was passed despite a reported order of the Supreme Court on this issue in the Amroha murder case.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the State of Gujarat, has been directed to take instructions in the matter. The Court also proceeded to stay the death warrant.

The petitioner in the case was represented by Advocate Aparajita Singh.

Anil Yadav was convicted for the rape and murder of the 3-year-old victim by an Additional Sessions Court in July last year. The crime was committed in October 2018.

The child victim had gone missing from her home before her corpse was discovered in a plastic bag. Yadav, who lived in the same neighbourhood as the victim, had reportedly joined in searching for the child, before absconding from his home. He was arrested later from Bihar.

A Special Court in Surat convicted him of the crime after examining over 30 witnesses, and on the basis on medical and circumstantial evidence. In December last year, the Gujarat High Court upheld the death penalty awarded to Yadav in the case.

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