The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the execution of a man convicted of raping a girl and killing her and her brother in Coimbatore nine years ago, PTI reported. The top court had confirmed his capital punishment on August 1 in a 2-1 verdict, and he was scheduled to be hanged on September 20.

While hearing a review petition against the death penalty, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman stayed Manoharan’s hanging until October 16 after his counsel wanted to inspect the case records from the trial court before arguing the matter. She said Manoharan was not duly represented as lawyers were changed multiple times.

The judges made it clear that October 16 would be the last chance the lawyer would get to argue the matter.

Manoharan and Mohanakrishnan abducted the 10-year-old girl and her younger brother in October 2010. They raped the girl, made the two children drink poisoned milk, and threw them into a canal. Mohanakrishnan was shot dead by the police while Manoharan was given the death sentence by the trial court. The Madras High Court upheld the sentence in March 2014.

While upholding the verdict last month, Justices Nariman and Surya Kant said the crime fell in the “rarest of rare” category. Justice Sanjiv Khanna opposed the capital punishment. Khanna said Manoharan was 23 years old at the time of the crime, did not have a criminal record, was uneducated and had elderly parents, The Telegraph reported.

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