As directed by Bombay High Court,Additional Sessions Judge V K Shewale will on Tuesday give Maharashtra State Transport driver Santosh Mane an opportunity to present his argument on the quantum of punishment.
Mane,who was convicted by a trial court for killing nine and injuring 27 people,was sentenced to death in April this year. However,the Bombay High Court had on September 21 set aside the death sentence observing that the trial court did not give him a hearing on the quantum of punishment.
While upholding his conviction,a division bench of Justice P V Hardas and Justice P M Deshmukh remitted the case back to the sessions court in Pune to hear Mane.
The court had directed that Mane be given a hearing on the quantum of punishment and a fresh decision be taken on his sentence. Its mandatory under Section 235(2) CrPC to allow a convict to present his argument over the quantum of punishment.
The HC division bench,which heard the appeal by the 40-year-old driver,had however upheld the conviction by the sessions court under various sections,including murder.
According to prosecutions,on the morning of January 25,2012,Mane hijacked a ST bus from Swargate depot and went on a rampage killing nine people,injuring 37,and damaging over 25 vehicles. The police and citizens managed to stop the bus near Neelayam theatre bridge after a 45-minute pursuit over a distance of 15 km.
On April 8,Additional Sessions Judge Shewale had held Mane guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code,including murder. Terming Manes offence rarest of the rare,the sessions court had sentenced him to death.
Given an opportunity,we will present our argument on the sentence and beg court to show leniency, said Dhananjay Mane,the defence lawyer.