Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mane not suffering from mental illness, says prosecution

PUNE: The medical documents of rogue bus driver Santosh Mane provided to the prosecution have revealed that he is conscious, well-oriented and not suffering from major psychiatric illness. The documents submitted by the Yerawada central jail were provided to the prosecution and its lawyer Dhananjay Mane when the case came up for hearing on the point of sentencing before the court on Saturday. District government pleader and public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar relied on the medical report issued by the jail psychiatrist to show that Mane was normal.

On the plea filed by Mane's lawyer that he be referred to a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist as he is unable to make his defence on the point of sentencing, Pawar opposed the plea saying that the trial in the case was over and he was convicted, but the Bombay High Court has directed the trial court to give him a hearing for complying with section 235 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The hearing in the case was deferred till October 25. On January 25, 2012, Mane hijacked an ST bus from Swargate bus depot and drove it for 14 km around the city in a manic spree that left nine people dead and 37 injured.

On April 8 this year, the court of additional sessions judge V K Shewale handed Mane death sentence under section 302 (punishment for murder) and other sections of the Indian Penal Code, saying that his crime fell in the "rarest of rare" category. While the trial court sent the death sentence for confirmation to the high court, Mane also filed his appeal. On September 21, a division bench of the high court comprising justice P V Hardas and justice P N Deshmukh in its judgment held that there has been a failure of justice as there has been no effective hearing on the point of sentence.

The high court bench set aside the sentence awarded to Mane, but maintained his conviction and remitted the case to the trial court for passing appropriate sentence in accordance with the law after complying with section 235 (2) of the CrPC.

Source: [last accessed on 04.03.2015]

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