Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence of two people accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering a 22-year-old BPO employee in Pune in 2007.
The accused - Purushottam Borate and Pradeep Kokade - were awarded death penalty in March this year by a Sessions Court in Pune.
A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode on Wednesday said it was confirming the conviction of the two accused but would pass an order on their sentence tomorrow.
"We are confirming the conviction. The trial court has not erred in convicting the two. But on sentencing, we would like to hear more arguments from both the defence and prosecution lawyers regarding mitigating circumstances and so on," Justice Kanade said.
The duo were convicted under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 364 (kidnapping), 376 (rape) and 302 (murder) among others of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
While the prosecution had sought severe punishment of death for the two arguing that there is no chance of reformation, defence lawyers had sought clemency on the ground that the duo had no prior criminal records.
Public prosecutor Revati Dhere had argued that the incident was pre-planned and pre-mediated by the two accused who knew that it was the victim's last day in Wipro. "They had prior knowledge. They conspired the abduction, rape and murder in advance," she argued.
According to the prosecution, the victim, an employee working for Wipro BPO at Hijewadi IT park in Pune, had on November 1, 2007 boarded the regular cab contracted to ply the employees by the company to report for night duty.
The 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 both of 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.