A bus driver in India, who went on a rampage last year killing nine people and injuring 37, in the city of Pune, about 190 km (118 miles) from Mumbai, was handed the death penalty Monday.
Santosh Mane, 30, who had been a driver with the state-run transport corporation for 11 years, was found guilty Wednesday by a Pune court, the Times of India newspaper reported.
Mane hijacked a Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation bus from the Swargate depot Jan. 25 last year and drove it for 25 km (17 mile) around the city during the heavy traffic hour in the morning, mowing down several people.
Nearly 40 vehicles were damaged before the bus was brought to a halt by a college student Sharif Ibrahim Kutty, 21, who managed to board the bus and over-power Mane.
Rejecting the defense argument that the driver acted in a fit of insanity as he was mentally disturbed, Additional Sessions Judge VK Shevale said Mane had committed the crime in a conscious state of mind and he was fully aware of the consequences of his actions, the Press Trust of India reported.
Convicting the driver, the judge said Mane had asked officials to shorten his duty hours the night before he went on his rampage. His request was refused because there was a shortage of drivers, NDTV reported.
Mane was convicted of murder, attempt to murder, damage to public property and theft.
The prosecution had filed a 270-page chargesheet against Mane and examined 39 witnesses to establish that he was “stable and conscious” at the time of the incident.
The defense had produced two witnesses — a psychiatrist and a chemist — from Solapur, his hometown, to prove that Mane was mentally unstable.