The Bombay high court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of two Pune residents convicted for abduction, gang-rape and murder of a local business process outsourcing (BPO) employee in November 2007.
The division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice PD Kode is likely to decide on Thursday on the death sentence awarded to the duo by a sessions judge in Pune in March 2012.
"We are confirming convictions as recorded by the trial court as we don't find any error with that part of the trial court verdict," the judges declared on Wednesday in open court, adding that they would hear both the sides - the prosecution and the defence - on Thursday before answering the reference for confirmation of the capital punishment.
Purushottam Dasharath Borate, 31, and his friend Pradeep Yashwant Kakade, 26 - both residents of Gahunje in Maval tehsil of Pune district - had filed appeals challenging their conviction.
According to the prosecution case, the duo hatched a conspiracy and abducted, gang-raped and brutally killed a BPO employee working with Wipro BPO Company at Hinjewadi in Pune.
Borate was the driver of the car that picked up the victim, working in night shift, from her residence around 10.15pm on November 1, 2007.
However, instead of dropping her at the office, the duo took her to a secluded place near their native village and raped her.
They then slashed her wrist with a blade, strangulated her using her own dupatta, and thereafter smashed her head with a stone in order to make it difficult to identify her.
Next day, a local spotted the blood-soaked body and informed the police, who arrested the duo two days later.
On March 20, 2012, sessions judge AM Badar convicted the accused and handed down two counts each of death sentence and life imprisonment for conspiracy, murder, gang-rape and kidnapping.