Supreme Court has stayed the death warrant issued against 22 year old Anil Yadav, convicted for the rape and murder of a 3-year old girl in Surat.
Cancelling the death warrant issued by the Gujarat High Court, the Bench comprising SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant stated that fallacies in judicial processes were unwarranted and the requisite mandatory limitation period must be followed.
Senior Advocate Aparajita Singh appearing on behalf of the convict asserted that the mandatory limitation period for filing of an appeal must be traversed before a death warrant is issued.
"There is a mandatory waiting period of 60 days by law which must be followed in order to challenge the conviction under death penalty. But in my case, the Death warrant was issued in 33 days after the passing of sentence" submitted Singh.
Singh's argument rested on the envisaged Right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution, which extended to death row convicts as well.
At this juncture, CJI SA Bobde asked Singh
"Are you referring to Justice AK Sikri's order in Shabnam v. Union of India and Ors.Writ Petition?"
Singh affirmed that she indeed was that not following the mandate was against the tenets laid down by the principles of the Apex Court.
"That is why there are many judgments mandating the manner in which the death sentence has to be executed" argued Singh
The Bench, while staying the Death Warrant against Yadav also questioned Solicitor General Tushar Mehta regarding the fallacies that existed in the Judicial Process despite well laid down principles.
"Why is this happening? The Amroha case lays down principles, this shouldn't happen" CJI noted
During trial, the Prosecution had sought death penalty against Yadav for counts of murder, unnatural sex and an attempt to destroy evidence citing the brutality involved in the crime committed in October 2018.
A POCSO Special court in Surat had convicted Yadav and passed a sentence of death penalty. The Gujarat High Court had further upheld the Trial Court's decision.