Death penalty of Pune BPO gang rape case convicts commuted to life
Twelve years after the incident, the Bombay High Court on Monday commuted death sentence to life imprisonment of two convicted for the rape and murder of a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm employee in Pune in 2007.A Division Bench of Justices B.P. Dharmadikari and Swapna Joshi was hearing two criminal petitions filed by Pradeep Kokade and Purshottam Borate seeking a stay on their execution that was originally scheduled for June 24 in Pune. On November 2007, when the BPO employee was leaving from work at night, Borate, the cab driver, along with his friend Kokade, kidnapped, raped and murdered her.They were convicted and sentenced to death in 2012. Soon thereafter, the High Court and Supreme Court upheld the death penalty and their mercy petitions were also rejected in 2016 by the Maharashtra Governor and the President in 2017.Their plea said, “excessive and unexplained delay of over four years (1,509 days) in execution of the sentence of death causes unnecessary and unavoidable pain, suffering and mental torment that constitutes cruel and unusual punishment violative of Article 21 (right to life) of the Indian Constitution.”Advocate Yug Chaudhry appearing for the two had told the court that there had been a delay in issuance of the warrants for execution of the death penalty.