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Bombay HC upholds death penalty of woman techie killer

The Bombay High Court Thursday upheld a trial court verdict awarding the death penalty to a man convicted of raping and killing a 23-year-old woman techie from Andhra Pradesh here in 2014, describing him as a “menace to the society”.

The convict, 30-year-old Chandrabhan Sanap, was pronounced guilty by a special court in 2015 and awarded the death sentence.

A bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre dismissed an appeal filed by Sanap (30) challenging the trial court verdict.

The bench was simultaneously hearing Sanap’s appeal and the Maharashtra government’s plea for confirmation of Sanap’s death sentence.

Reading out the operative portion of the verdict in an open court, the bench observed the defence had failed to bring on record any “mitigating” circumstances or evidence to help Sanap’s case.

The judges also said Sanap had “failed to show any remorse,” and that there was “no possibility of his reformation”.

“There is no mitigating circumstance or evidence on record in favour of the convict. He has been married thrice… he has shown no remorse and his actions shook the collective conscience of the society,” the bench noted.

“He (Sanap) is a menace to the society,” the bench said.

On October 30, 2015, a special court had convicted Sanap of raping and murdering the woman after picking her up from the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) Railway Station under the false promise of dropping her to her hostel in Andheri in his taxi.

The software professional, originally a native of Andhra Pradesh, was employed with a leading IT firm in Mumbai.

The trial court had observed that the case falls under the ‘rarest of rare’ category.

According to the prosecution, the techie had returned to the city on January 5, 2014, after visiting her family in Machilipatnam.

She met Sanap at the LTT station in suburban Kurla. He posed as a private taxi driver and offered to drop her in her hostel in Andheri for Rs 300.

The woman agreed to board his taxi and on the way Sanap raped and killed her, the prosecution said.

He dumped the body in the bushes along the Eastern Express Highway in Bhandup, it said.

After an extensive search by her family and the police, the body was found on January 16, 2014.

Sanap was arrested in March that year and charged with murder, rape, abduction and other offences under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

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