The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the death sentence awarded to a man convicted of raping and murdering a four-year-old girl in Madhya Pradesh, PTI reported. The order was uploaded on the Supreme Court’s website on Tuesday.

The convict, Vinod, was awarded the death penalty by a court set up under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act in February. The court in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol district had found him guilty of raping and murdering the minor on May 13, 2017.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court had upheld the death penalty awarded to the convict by the district court, observing that the state was not soft where the “predators committing such serious crimes may get reprieve in the guise of humanity”.

The accused had moved the Supreme Court against the High Court order in August. The bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Monday called for the original records of the case and said the execution of the death sentence be stayed.