The Bombay High Court, hearing the death sentence confirmation petition of state transport bus driver Santosh Mane, said it will have to consider his mental status at the time of the incident and not whether he was undergoing treatment for insanity.
Mane (40) was awarded death penalty by a Pune sessions court in December last year for mowing down nine persons and injuring 37 others after he ran amok with the bus on busy streets in Pune.
Mane had challenged the lower court’s verdict on the ground that he was suffering from mental illness and was undergoing treatment for the same.
A division bench of Justices N H Patil and V L Achliya posted the matter on March 12 when it will fix a date for commencement of hearing on the appeal and death confirmation petition.
Advocate Jagdish Mane, appearing for the convict, today told the court that while the prosecution claims that the motive behind Mane going on a rampage was over his extended duty hours, the defence’s case was of insanity.
“There is medical evidence to show that Mane was undergoing treatment,” he said.
The court said “the fact that he was undergoing treatment is not of paramount importance. At the relevant time what was his mental condition is what is of paramount concern. What was his position at the time of the incident is what needs to be seen”.
The incident dates back to January 25, 2012 when Mane had allegedly hijacked an empty state transport bus from Swargate depot and sped off on the wrong side of the road ploughing through vehicles and pedestrians.
Mane rode for about 25 kms before he was caught.