JABALPUR: A trial court in Madhya Pradesh has issued a 'death warrant' against a school teacher who has been convicted of raping a four-year-old girl.
The trial court in Satna district has sent the death warrant of Mahendra Singh Gond (28) to the Central Jail in Jabalpur, a prison official said on Monday.
The rape convict's death warrant has been received from the trial court and he (Gond) is in the process of challenging his death penalty in the Supreme Court, Jabalpur Central Jail's law officer Ashok Singh told PTI.
The trial court sent the death warrant through an e-mail to the Central Jail and Gond's execution date has been fixed for March 2, 2019, he said.
The convict has other remedies also as he can file a mercy petition before the President of India, he said.
"The death warrant will be executed only after all the available legal remedies are exhausted," Singh said.
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.
According to the prosecution, Gond was convicted for raping a four-year-old girl at Parasmaniya village in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh.
The trial court 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).
Gond was also found guilty under IPC Section 363 (kidnapping), for which he was awarded seven years' rigorous imprisonment, besides being fined Rs 5,000, Singh said.
The convict went to the girl's house on July 1, 2018 in an inebriated condition to meet her father.
There, Gond saw the girl sleeping next to her father on a cot outside their house.
He returned home after meeting the girl's father.
After some time, Gond came back and spotted the girl alone on the cot as her father had gone to relieve himself.
Taking advantage of the situation, he picked up the child and took her to a nearby agriculture field where he raped her and dumped her in the bushes, the prosecution said.
When the girl's father returned and did not find his daughter, he raised an alarm and the family launched a search for her.
Later, they found her lying in the thick bushes.
The girl received severe injuries in the incident and was admitted to a Delhi-based hospital.
Gond was later arrested by the police and a charge sheet was filed against him.
Madhya Pradesh was the first state to enact a law in December 2017, providing for death penalty for rapists of girls below 12 years of age.
The Centre had brought an amendment in the IPC to punish the rapists of girls below 12 years of age with death last year.