A special court on Tuesday awarded death penalty to all three accused who were found guilty of the abduction, rape and murder of a 26-year-old software engineer in Pune in 2009.
“All the three shall be hanged till death,” Special Judge L L Yenkar ruled.
Yogesh Raut (27), Mahesh Thakur (26) and Vishwas Kadam (27) were convicted on Monday under IPC Sections 366 (kidnapping of woman), 376G (gangrape), 397 (robbery), 302 (murder), 404 (dishonest misappropriation of property possessed by the deceased person) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy). The fourth accused, Rajesh Pandurang Chaudhari (26), was acquitted after he turned approver.
Nayana Pujari was kidnapped from outside her office, Synechron, on the outskirts of Pune on October 7, 2009. She was taken to Wagholi and raped. She was raped again by the four in the moving car before being strangulated. The accused disfigured her face and dumped the body in Khed taluka in Pune district.
During arguments on the quantum of sentence on Tuesday, the defence contended that it was not a case that deserves death penalty and did not fall in the “rarest of the rare” category. The prosecution maintained that the case did fall in the rarest of rare category in view of the brutality of the offence.
The court ruled that the case falls within the “rarest of the rare” category and considering the safety of women, the three be sentenced to death.
Nayana’s husband Abhijit, who has since remarried, expressed gratitude towards the court for the judgment.