Hope of accused reformation key to commuting death sentence: HC

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said to commute a death sentence handed out to an accused,there has to be hope of the accused’s reformation.

Written by Express News Service | Published: September 5, 2012 3:49 am

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said to commute a death sentence handed out to an accused,there has to be hope of the accused’s reformation.

Pushottam Borale (26) and Pradeep Kokade (20),who were sentenced to death by a sessions court in Pune for the gang-rape and murder of a 22-year-old BPO employee in 2007,had urged the court to spare them the death penalty. The court is hearing the case pertaining to the confirmation of the death sentence handed out to the two by the trial court on March 20.

Defence lawyer Rahul Kate pleaded before the court on behalf of the accused and said that they had no criminal antecedents and deserved an opportunity to reform.

“Something positive should come on record to show that hope of reformation is not lost,” the court said. Adding that life is paramount,Justice V M Kanade and Justice P D Kode,however,said that the court will have to take into account whether the murder of the BPO employee was committed at the spur of the moment or was pre-meditated.

Prosecution lawyers Revati Dere and Prajakta Shinde,however,told the court that the accused had abducted the victim – who was working in the night shift on her last day at work in the company — with the intention to commit rape and murder.

According to the prosecution,Borale and Kokade had picked up the victim from her home in Pashan at about 10.15 pm on November 1,2007 in a car sent through the pick-up service engaged by her employer. She was on her way to the office at Hinjewadi on the night shift from 11 pm to 9 am.

However,the accused duo allegedly abducted her and took her to Guhane village near Maval where they raped and then killed the victim by strangulating her with her dupatta,smashing her head with a stone and slashing her wrist with a blade.

The trial court that held the two accused guilty of the crime,had written in its order,“The crime has been committed and executed in a pre-planned manner which shows determination of both the accused to complete the crime… this incident had sent shock waves throughout the city of Pune and particularly the IT sector which has gained roots in Pune,” the trial court had observed.

The prosecution also alleged that the two accused stole the victim’s gold jewellery,watch,mobile phone and wallet after killing her. They then went to pick up her co-worker on the night shift and said that they were late because of a flat tyre on the way.

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