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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 toddler in October 2018.

A Surat court had ordered Anil Surendra Yadav’s hanging on February 29.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprising BR 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.

Yadav argued in the plea that a death warrant can’t be issued before all legal remedies are exhausted. A death warrant can’t be issued before 60 days to file his appeal in the top court, submitted Yadav.

Chief Justice Bobde said, “In spite of Supreme Court judgement in Amroha murder case., which had said that death warrant can’t be issued before all legal remedies are exhausted, how can a judge pass such orders? The judicial process can’t be ignored like this.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the State of Gujarat, has been directed by the bench to take instructions in the matter because the top court had earlier agreed to examine the centre’s petition to set a seven-day time limit for convicts to use their last available legal options before execution.

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