Shivakumar, who was declared guilty by a Bangalore fast track court for the rape and murder of Pratibha Murthy, an employee of the Hewlett-Packard run business process outsourcing arm, was given a life term till death on Friday.
The judge, B V Guddali held that this case did not fall under the bracket of the 'rarest of rare' cases and hence felt that Shivakumar be sentenced to undergo life imprisonment until death for abduction, rape and murder.
Prathibha, a call centre employee from Bangalore was found murdered on December 13 2005. As per the chargesheet, Prathibha was picked up on December 12 and while she was heading for work that night, the driver took the cab to a secluded location and then raped her before killing her.
The news had created waves in Karnataka and people started questioning the security of women working in call centres in the night.
The court while pronouncing the verdict held Shivakumar guilty of murder under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, rape under Section 376 and section 366 for abduction.
Ever since the incident, Prathibha's mother, Gowramma has been fighting a lone battle to get justice. When the court had found Shivakumar guilty earlier this week, she broke down in court and even said that she wished he was hanged.
However, Friday's verdict has been disappointing and the next recourse will be sought before the high court where both the state as well as the family of the deceased will seek to enhance the punishment to a death sentence.