New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday put a hold on the hanging of a man convicted in the rape and murder of a three-year-old in Gujarat’s Surat. The Court’s order came just a week before the scheduled execution. Also Read - Delhi Oxygen Crisis: Supreme Court asks Centre for a Plan by 10:30 am Today, Stays HC's Contempt Proceedings

Earlier, a Surat court had fixed February 29 as the date of hanging of Anil Surendra Yadav. The death warrant against the accused was issued in connection with the rape and murder of a toddler in October 2018. Also Read - Centre Faces Tough Question as Pressure Mounts to Impose Full Lockdown in India to Beat COVID Surge

Yadav challenged his sentence in the Supreme Court, maintaining that his legal remedies weren’t exhausted yet. Also Read - Supreme Court Quashes Maratha Reservation Plea, Says 'No Ground' For More Than 50% Quota

Arguing for Yadav, his lawyer Aparajitha Singh said in the Court, “Yadav has 60 days to file his appeal in the top court and a death warrant can’t be issued before that.”

To which, Chief Justice SA Bobde said, “In spite of Supreme Court judgement, which had said that death warrant can’t be issued before all legal remedies are exhausted, how can a judge pass such orders? Judicial process can’t be (ignored) like this.”

This comes amid repeated delays in the hanging of the four Nirbhaya case convicts. Notably, the convicts are now scheduled to be hanged on March 3.