State Transport (ST) bus driver Santosh Mane’s hopes of getting his quantum of punishment reduced was dealt a severe blow,after the city’s Session Court quashed his request yesterday.
Additional Sessions Judge V K Shewale resentenced Mane to be hanged till death, after he was held guilty on charges of murder, damage to public and private property. In April, Mane was awarded the death penalty by Shewale following his conviction.
However, in September, the Bombay High Court upheld the conviction, but directed Pune’s Sessions Court to again hear the say of Mane on the quantum of punishment awarded to him.
While pronouncing the quantum of punishment awarded to Mane on Wednesday, Shewale observed that Mane had misused the provisions in the judicial trial while defending him self to seek life imprisonment punishment instead of death penalty. “Mane has no remorse of whatever he has done.
Any punishment other than death penalty would be deemed to have undermined the law. Nothing but mischief,” Shewale said in his judgment.
The Sessions Court had asked a set of questions to Mane to ascertain whether he is mentally fit before his statement regarding the quantum of punishment is recorded. Mane had answered all the questions properly.
Also the doctors at the Regional Mental Hospital in Yerawada had conducted various tests on Mane from April 3 to October 14 this year to find out whether he is suffering from any mental illness.
All these test reports have stated that Mane does not suffer from any illness and is mentally and physically fit to give his statement to the court. Besides that Mane was given an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses in the case and also to submit any other evidence but he has declined it, said Shewale.
Finally, justice has been done
“We are happy that justice has been done in this case. Mane deserves the death penalty and nothing less than that,” said Bhaurao Patil, father of deceased Pooja Patil, a medical student who was killed in the incident near Solapur Bazaar police chowky in Pulgate.
‘Will appeal against order’
Mane’s Defence Counsel Dhananjay Mane said, “We will approach the High Court, appealing against the order of the Sessions Court. We have questions about the validity of the medical reports itself. We were not given an opportunity to cross-examine the doctors of the Mental Hospital who had submitted the medical reports.”
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