Observing that the rape and murder of a 22-year-old BPO employee in Pune has had a deep impact on the society and women travelling alone, the Bombay High Court on Monday upheld the death penalty awarded to two for committing the heinous crime.
A division bench of Justices V.M. Kanade and P.D. Kode confirmed the death sentence of the two accused — Purushottam Borate and Pradeep Kokade — for kidnapping, raping and murdering the victim, an employee with Wipro BPO in Pune on November 1, 2007.
“We are confirming the death sentence awarded to the duo by the sessions court. The manner is which the offence was committed and the deep impact it has had on the society have been considered by us. Any woman will now think twice before taking a cab alone,” Justice Kanade said.
After the bench pronounced its verdict, the two accused broke down in the court room.
According to the prosecution, the victim had boarded the regular cab contracted to ply employees by the company to report for night shift. Cab driver Borate who was accompanied by his friend Kokade, however, changed the route and took the victim to a remote place where she was raped by them.
The duo then strangled her to death using her dupatta and disfigured her face inflicting injuries with a sharp weapon to hide her identity. The body was recovered the next day following which the two were arrested.
“Considering all the circumstances we feel that constraint regarding their punishment is not an option. The death penalty has been confirmed after giving it a lot of thought,” the court said.
The bench had earlier observed that the duo had committed a series of acts which were very serious in nature and questioned whether those could be considered as an additional circumstance to make it “rarest of rare” case.