No lawyer is ready to represent Santosh Mane, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) driver, who mowed down eight people and injured 30 others with a hijacked bus on Wednesday.
The Pune Bar Association on Thursday issued an appeal against Mane, 39, who was sent to police custody till February 3. The association's secretary, Amol Kajale, said, "Mane is a threat to society and therefore we have appealed all lawyers not to represent him."
The appeal violates a Supreme Court order that every accused should get a lawyer.
When Mane was produced in the vacation court no advocate represented him. A calm and quiet Mane, however, told the court he would prefer a lawyer. The court will now consider his plea in the next hearing.
Initial reports said Mane was mentally disturbed, but the police said it was too early to comment. A doctor has claimed Mane was being treated for schizophrenia.
MSRTC officials said action would be taken against Mane by Friday, as Thursday was a holiday. His driving licence has already been suspended.
The MSRTC has found that Mane had been involved in four accidents in his 12 years of service. "They had been minor incidents so no action was taken against him," said Swargate Depot manager Vijay Diwate.
Hero in death
One of Mane's victims, Shweta Oswal, 27, emerged a hero in her death. Oswal, who had been critically injured when Mane rammed the bus into her bike, requested her family members to allow her to donate her eyes. Oswal's relative Pravin Jain said, "While battling with death in the hospital, she told us she wanted to donate her eyes."