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After Dec 16 verdict, 3 get death for rape, murder of Pune techie, court terms case ‘rarest of rare’

The lawyer for three of the accused said they plan to appeal against the decision in the Bombay high court

mumbai Updated: May 10, 2017 13:33 IST
Satyajit Joshi
Satyajit Joshi
Hindustan Times
Pune techie rape and murder,death sentence,rape
The hearing was delayed as the main accused, Yogesh Raut, escaped from police custody in September 2011. Police traced him 18 months later.(HT File Photo)

Terming the Pune techie rape and murder case the ‘rarest of the rare’ and ‘heinous’, three accused were sentenced to death by a sessions court on Tuesday. As accused Rajesh Choudhari had turned approver earlier, he was released. Advocate B S Aalur, who represented the accused — Yogesh Ashok Raut, Mahesh Balasaheb Thakur and Vishwas Hindurao Kadam — said they would appeal against the decision in the Bombay high court.

Eight years after the crime, special sessions Judge L L Yenkar pronounced the verdict after hearing arguments from both sides for more than six hours. He said he wanted to send out a strong message to society as the case involved the safety and self-esteem of women.

Long road to justice
  • October 2009: Pune techie Nayna Pujari was kidnapped, gang raped and murdered.
  • October 2009 : Her body was found at Jarewadi near Rajgurunagar on the Pune-Nashik Road.
  • October 2009:The three accused were arrested.
  • January 2010: A charge sheet was filed against them.
  • July 2010: Accused Rajesh Choudhari turned approver.
  • February 2011: A fresh charge sheet was filed against the three accused.
  • September 2011: Yogesh Raut escaped from police custody
  • May 2013: Raut was nabbed at Shirdi.
  • May 2017: The accused were sentenced to death.

The hearing was delayed as the main accused, Raut, escaped from police custody in September 2011. Police traced him 18 months later.

Raut, Thakur and Kadam were emotionless when the verdict was delivered. The family of the victim, Nayna Pujari, seemed relieved, said sources.

The accused were held guilty of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, robbery, gang rape and murder under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Though they were charged with destroying evidence, the court did not hold them guilty.

When the court had asked them to make statements, Raut said the case against him was fabricated. He admitted that the Indica car used in the crime belonged to him, but added Choudhari had used it on the day of the crime.Raut added that he was the only earning member of his family. “I stay with my wife, daughter and mother. Please consider my family while deciding the punishment,” he said.

Read: Pune Infosys techie murder: IT workers stunned, question ‘outsourced’ security

While Thakur remained silent, Kadam demanded that Chaudhari be punished because of his involvement in the crime. Raut and Kadam expressed resentment over Chaudhari’s release.

Raut’s lawyer B S Allur told reporters that Chaudhari’s release was unfair and based solely on the fact that he had turned approver.

Read: Driver, guard raped engineer: Police

Special public prosecutor Harshad Nimbalkar demanded that the accused be sentenced to death. Drawing parallels to the December 16 rape case, he termed the crime ‘a cold blooded criminal conspiracy’.“The accused were supposed to take Pujari home, but they kidnapped her instead. They took away her belongings and withdrew money from an ATM. They took her to a deserted place, raped her one by one in the moving car, killed her and then tried to destroy the evidence,” he said.

Terming the crime ‘an inhuman act’, Nimbalkar said the accused did not regret their actions, which was evident from Raut’s escape from police custody.

First Published: May 10, 2017 13:23 IST