Pune court confirms death to rogue bus driver

The death sentence awarded to the rogue bus driver Santosh Mane, who had crushed nine people under the wheels and left 37 others injured on Pune streets last year when he went berserk, was confirmed by the court on Wednesday.

Disposing off the case, Pune Additional Sessions Judge V K Shevale, rejected the defence plea that Mane lost his “mind under the influence of black magic,” on grounds that the claim does not fall under the purview of “hallucination.”

Holding the Maharashtra State Transport Road Corporation (MSRTC) bus driver Mane responsible for the killings of innocent people, Shevale said that the case fell under the ‘rarest of rare category” and stated that during the trial Mane did not show any remorse for the killings and during the rampage, he only ran over people and not objects.

Mane, who has been on psychiatric medication, on the morning of January 25, 2012, took over the wheels of an empty Pune-Satara-Pune state transport bus parked at the Swargate ST Depot and went mowing down people by driving on the wrong side of the road; he was nabbed by police with the help of biker after a 25-km chase.

In April, he was awarded death penalty by the sessions court; the defence in the Bombay High Court during the confirmation hearing pleaded that Mane was not given a proper hearing and the matter was once again referred back to the lower court.

The lower court once again went through the process and Mane was also subjected to psychological tests at Pune’s Mental Hospital; all the tests, however, confirmed that he was not suffering any mental abnormality at the time of the incident.

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