The Bombay High Court on Monday commuted the death penalty of two convicts in the 2007 Pune BPO gang-rape and murder case to life imprisonment on the ground that there had been an inordinate delay in executing them.
The convicts, Purushottam Borate and Pradeep Kokade, were to be executed on June 24, but the high court had said on June 21 that the execution should not take place as scheduled until further orders.
A division bench of Justices B P Dharmadhikari and Swapna Joshi allowed the petitions filed by the convicts seeking a stay on the execution of their death warrant.
"Their sentences are commuted," the court said.
The lawyer for the convicts, Yug Chaudhary, told reporters the court had said in the judgement that the duo should be in prison for a period of 35 years after taking into account the time already spent and remission.
The two were convicted and awarded the death penalty by a trial court in 2012 for kidnapping, raping and murdering a BPO employee in Pune in 2007.
In the petitions filed in May, the duo sought a stay on the ground that there had been inordinate delay in deciding their mercy petitions by the Maharashtra governor and the President, and also in issuance of the warrants for execution of the death penalty.
They also sought for the death penalty to be commuted to life imprisonment.
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