NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – India's Supreme Court has stayed the execution of a man found guilty of beheading his five daughters three years ago, the Hindu reported on Friday.
Maganlal Barela attacked his five daughters – aged between one and six – with an axe following a dispute over property with his two wives in the central state of Madhya Pradesh in June 2010.
Barela was due to be hanged on Thursday in a prison in Jabalpur city, in what was to be the first execution in the country since February.
But prominent human rights lawyer Colin Gonsalves called for the hanging to be suspended, saying that while President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected Barela's mercy plea, this had not been communicated to him adequately, the Hindu said.
"(Gonsalves) said there was no transparent and fair procedure in [the] disposal of [the] mercy petition," the report said.
The court will now set a date to hear a batch of cases involving delays in the communication of mercy petitions.
Girls and women in India face a barrage of threats – including physical and sexual violence, trafficking, acid attacks and even murder – due to conservative patriarchal attitudes that view females as inferior.
Reports of rape, dowry deaths, molestation, sexual harassment and other crimes against women in India rose by 6.4 percent in 2012 from the previous year, with the highest number of rapes recorded in the capital city.
The Indian police logged reports of 244,270 crimes against women in 2012 compared with 228,650 in 2011, according to the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB).