A Special Bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Friday stayed the execution of death penalty against a school teacher for raping a 4 year-old girl in June last year in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh.
The bench, also comprising justices L Nageswar Rao and Sanjiv Khanna stayed the "death warrant" issued by a Satna court on February 4 against Mahendra Singh Gond. The death penalty was scheduled to be executed on March 2 in Jabalpur jail.
The girl was so brutally assaulted that she had to spend months in AIIMS-Delhi to get her intestines realigned.
After raping her, the rapist had dumped her in a jungle thinking she was dead. Her family members found her in the wee hour by that time was found barely alive. The state government immediately had intervened and airlifted her to Delhi.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court had on January 25 confirmed the death sentence awarded by the trial court to Gond.
The trial court had convicted the school teacher on September 19, 2018 and had sentenced Gond to death under the recently-introduced Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 376(a)(b) (raping a minor under 12 years of age).
This was probably the first case where a High court confirmed a death sentence under Section 376(AB) of the Indian Penal Code, which provides for death penalty for rapists of girls below 12 years of age. This provision was inserted into IPC last year, through Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2018.