Pratibha murder: Bangalore cabbie sentenced for life (Lead)

October 8th, 2010 - 2:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Oct 8 (IANS) A fast track court here Wednesday sentenced Bangalore taxi driver Shiva Kumar to “life imprisonment till death” for the 2005 murder of Hewlett Packard (HP) India employee Pratibha Murthy.

Pronouncing the judgment in a packed court room, Judge B.V Guddali of the 11th fast track court sentenced him under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for murdering the 28-year-old.

The judge also sentenced the accused to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs.20,000 under Section 376 of the IPC for raping Pratibha. Shiva Kumar was also handed down a sentence of 10 years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs.10,000 for kidnapping Pratibha under Section 366 of the IPC.

Shiva Kumar was convicted for the gruesome crime Wednesday.

The shocking incident took place in the early hours of Dec 13, 2005 when Pratibha was picked up by the accused from her house for the graveyard shift (late night duty) in the HP office in the electronics city, about 30 km from city centre.

Pratibha’s body was found with her throat slit in a pit near Anjanapura layout on the outskirts of south Bangalore.

Though Shiva Kumar first confessed to the crime, he later backtracked and denied all the charges.

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 had been examined in the case.

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