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Pratibha case: Driver held guilty

Justice has been done for the family of BPO employee Pratibha Srikanth Murthy, who was raped and murdered in December 2005. HT Correspondent reports.

india Updated: Oct 06, 2010 23:09 IST
HT Correspondent

Justice has been done for the family of BPO employee Pratibha Srikanth Murthy, who was raped and murdered in December 2005.

Case file

On December 3, 2005, Shiva Kumar called Pratibha Murthy on the mobile and misled her into believing that the regular driver, Jagdish, was on leave and he had been given the task of dropping her at the office
Kumar then took the victim to a deserted place where he raped her and slit her throat
He dumped the body in a pit nearby, where it was found three days later
The trial has been going on in the courts for four and a half years. It began in a
sessions court in Bangalore in January 2007 and was
shifted to a fast track court in December 2009
A total of 71 witnesses have been examined in the case
The public prosecutor sought death sentence to the accused
"The crime was heinous, atrocious and punishment awarded should be deterrent to society. It should be death sentence," he said

A local court on Wednesday found cab driver Shiva Kumar guilty of the crime. The court will pronounce the punishment on October 8.

A fast track court, established to expeditiously dispose of long-pending cases, gave the judgment.

Murthy's mother, Gowramma, broke down after hearing the court's order. She demanded the death sentence for Kumar, a cab driver on the rolls of Murthy's employer, HP GlobalSoft.

In the wee hours of December 3, 2005, Kumar called Murthy on the mobile and misled her into believing that the regular driver, Jagdish, was on leave and he had been given the task of dropping her at the office.

Police sources said just after Kumar picked up Murthy, Jagadish called her to say that he would be outside her home in a few minutes. When he was informed that she had been picked up, Jagadish wanted to speak to Kumar, who said he (Kumar) had been assigned the job of picking up employees who lived in Murthy's locality.

Kumar then took the victim to a deserted place where he raped her and slit her throat. Murthy's body was found three days later.

Kumar was arrested on the basis of Jagdish's statements.

After his arrest, Kumar reportedly told the police that he committed the crime since he was starved of sex and hence frustrated ever since his wife became pregnant. He later retracted the statement in court.

Murthy's murder shocked IT and IT-enabled services firms across the country, and companies began to adopt stringent security measures for the protection of women employees.

Bangalore police laid down norms for taxicab operators. The norms include checking the antecedents of the drivers.