HC confirms death sentence in AP techie's rape, murder

On January 5, 2014, when Esther, 23, landed at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus at Kurla, the accused pretended to be a taxi driver and agreed to drop her at Andheri hostel for Rs 300.

The Bombay High Court on Thursday confirmed the death sentence awarded to a convict for 2014 rape and murder of Esther Anuhya, a techie hailing from Andhra Pradesh.

Describing it as a "rarest of the rare case", a division bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharati Dangre, upheld the women’s court verdict of December 2015, that awarded death sentence to Chandrabhan Sanap.

"It falls under the rarest of the rare category and the incident had shocked the conscience of society," the bench said.

The lower court had convicted him under Section 302 (murder), 376 (rape) and 201 (causing the disappearance of evidence of offence) of the Indian Penal Code for raping and killing the young girl. 

The court had examined 39 witnesses in the case.

On January 5, 2014, when Esther, 23,  landed at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus at Kurla, the accused pretended to be a taxi driver and agreed to drop her at Andheri hostel for Rs 300. 

When she came out of the platform, she was told that he has a motorbike and he would drop her. However, he took her from the Eastern Express Highway to the service road and then the bushes in Bhandup, where he “forced himself upon her”. When she resisted, he killed her and left her body there. 

On January 16, the half-charred body of the techie was spotted inside the ravines near Kanjur Marg area in the suburb of central Mumbai.

Esther was working with the Tata Consultancy Services as an assistant system engineer. She was a native of Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, had returned to Mumbai after a visit to her hometown.

On May 27, 2014, a  542-page charge sheet was filed by the Crime Branch-CID, which included statements of 76 witnesses — against the 28-year-old accused. He was charged on eight counts including murder, rape and destruction of evidence.

A native of Nashik, Sanap worked as a station porter at LTT before driving tourist cars shuttling between the two cities.

A history-sheeter with a past of excessive drinking,  he had around a dozen cases of thefts, robberies and house-breaking incidents on him.

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HC confirms death sentence in AP techie's rape, murder

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