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SC commutes 'killer driver' Santosh Mane's death penalty to life term

On January 25, 2012, Mane, a Maharashtra state transport driver, had hijacked a bus and mowed down nine persons. 

SC commutes 'killer driver' Santosh Mane's death penalty to life term

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence awarded to bus driver Santosh Mane, convicted for killing nine people in 2012, by mowing them down in Pune. 

On January 25, 2012, Mane, a Maharashtra state transport driver, had hijacked a bus and mowed down nine persons. 

He was awarded the death sentence in 2013 by a sessions court, which had termed Mane's crime “rarest of rare”.  Mane appealed the verdict in the Bombay High Court but in September 2014, the Bombay HC upheld the death penalty. Mane's laywer had urged to court to acquit his client of the murder charges because he was “mentally unsound” when he committed the crime.

Mane's lawyers then approached the SC against conviction and argued that his case be considered under provisions of Section 84 of the Indian Penal Code, which grants immunity to a person who “commits a crime while being in a state of unsound mind, thereby not knowing the nature of the act.”