A sessions court in Pune Tuesday sentenced two men to death for the rape and murder of a 22-year-old BPO employee in the city.

Jyotikumari Chowdhari was traveling in her company's pick-up cab Nov 1, 2007, when cab driver Purushottam Borate and his accomplice Pradeep Kokate, both residents of Dehu Road, raped and then brutally killed her.  

The judge said that the crime had been committed with extreme brutality and that sheer lust had driven the accused to rape and murder Jyoti.

However, the defence had pleaded for leniency saying the two men should be given a chance to reform. 

Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam pleaded that the accused be sentenced to death as they had committed the rape and murder of a young woman in a brutal manner. According to a PTI report, Nikam said it was Jyotikumari's last working day at the office. The accused hatched a criminal conspiracy and drove her in the cab to a remote spot while she was talking on her cellphone.

The duo raped her and inflicted three injuries on her body with a sharp weapon and brutally strangled her to death.

Jyoti was picked up from her Pashan residence in a car by Purshottam to drop her in the company located at Hinjewadi in the city. Pradeep joined him later.

Jyoti was talking on the phone with her boyfriend and didn't realize where they were heading to. At 11 pm, the boyfriend heard her ask the driver as why he has pulled the car, after which the phone was disconnected and went not reachable.

Police recovered Jyoti's body near a field in Gahunje village on the Mumbai-Pune expressway the next day (Nov. 2). And as the autopsy revealed that she had been raped and strangled to death. The duo was arrested Nov 3.