Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pune bus driver Santosh Mane awarded death penalty in road rage case

Express News Service April 08, 2013
Pune: A rogue driver, who hijacked a bus and mowed down nine people on Pune's streets with manic ruthlessness, was awarded death sentence by a sessions court, which termed his crime as "rarest of rare". Additional Sessions Judge V K Shevale handed down the extreme punishment to Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) driver Santosh Mane, 35, after rejecting the defence argument that he committed the crime in "a fit of insanity" and held that he was fully conscious of the consequences of his action. "The accused has committed the murder of nine persons by moving the bus dangerously with the intention and knowledge that the act was so imminently dangerous that it will cause death or bodily harm," the judge observed. Mane, a state transport bus driver, was held guilty of killing nine people and injuring 37 others in a road rage incident that took place on January 25, 2012. On April 3, Additional Sessions Judge V K Shewale had convicted Mane in the infamous road rampage incident. Before announcing the judgment, the judge heard the argument by government district pleader Ujjwala Pawar and defence lawyer Dhananjay Mane. Pawar will seek stringent capital punishment or life imprisonment for Mane while defence lawyers plead for minimum punishment citing him as the sole earning member of the family. Mane has been held guilty under relevant sections, comprising murder, attempt to murder, theft and assault, of the Indian penal Code and also under sections of the Prevention of Public Property Damages Act. On the morning of January 25, 2012, Mane hijacked an ST bus from Swargate depot and went on a rampage killing people besides damaging over 25 vehicles. The police and citizens managed to stop the bus near Neelayam theatre bridge after a hot pursuit lasted 45 minutes on 15 km stretch.
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