Bombay High Court:  Rejecting the plea of insanity, a division bench comprising of VM Kanade and PD Kode,  JJ confirmed death penalty to a former State Transport bus driver who had killed 9 persons and injured another 36 in a “road rage” incident in Pune in 2012. Defending the accused, advocate  Jaideep Mane relied on the defence of insanity under Section 84, IPC contending that the accused had been undergoing psychiatric treatment prior to this incident. The Court, however rejected the argument observing there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the accused was suffering from a serious mental disorder when he committed the act and that the evidence produced by the psychiatrist was “not reliable.” The  Bench also observed that mere prior incidence of treatment was not sufficient and it has to be established that at the time of commission of an offence, the accused was of unsound mind and was incapable of understanding the consequences of his action. Relying on the case of State of Maharashtra vs. Sindhi  alias Raman (1987) 89 BOMLR 423, the judges stated that they were concerned with legal insanity and not medical insanity and the evidence did not show the accused’s cognitive faculties were completely or gravely impaired.


In the present case, the accused had requested the Assistant Traffic Controller of Swargate Depot to change his shift from night to day which was declined. In a fit of rage he walked out of his office and went to a bus which was  standing in the depot  and hijacked it. He took two rounds in the bus depot and crushed to death 2 to 3 people inside the depot. Later he drove the bus out of the depot on the circuitous route of about 14 to 16 kilometers. He killed another 6 people in the process of driving the vehicle in the most reckless manner, grievously injured 36 persons some of whom were now permanently disabled and also damaged public property by driving the bus over rickshaws, scooters, cars, electric polls until he was finally stopped and apprehended by a policeman who entered the bus from one of the windows and successfully stopped the vehicle. The entire episode lasted for about 45 minutes.

The Court while confirming the death sentence observed that such a dastardly and inhuman act cannot be condoned on the premise that when society inflicts insults and injuries on a person, it gives right to individuals to take revenge against the society and its innocent members either on account of assumed religious sanction or individual retribution of wrongs done to him. The Court also observed that as long as death penalty remains on the statute book, they have to carry out this task of deliberating whether death penalty was justified in a particular case and in this case they felt that it was. Therefore, they had to do this unpleasant task of upholding the death penalty though they concur with some of the views expressed by the people who advocate abolition of death penalty from the statute book. State of Maharashtra vs. Santosh Maruti Mane, Confirmation Case No. 2 of 2013, decided on September 9, 2014

To read the full judgment, refer SCCOnline

Must Watch

maintenance to second wife

bail in false pretext of marriage

right to procreate of convict

Criminology, Penology and Victimology book release

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.