Pune: A local court on Tuesday awarded death sentence to two persons in the rape and murder case of a 22-year-old BPO employee, that rocked the city and send shock waves in the IT establishments here.

District and Sessions Court judge Anant Badar in his order, handed down capital punishment to cab driver Purushottam Borate (30) and his friend Pradip Kokade, who had picked up the victim, Jyotikumari Choudhary, from her residence on November 1, 2007 to drop her to office in Hinjewadi IT park area.

The duo drove the call centre employee, headed for a night shift, to a secluded spot where she was raped and murdered, according to the contention made by special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

The victim's body was recovered by police from a field along the Pune-Mumbai expressway on November 2 and the accused were nabbed on November 3, 2007.

Upholding the prosecution case, the judge observed that the accused had pre-planned the crime which they had committed to satisfy their lust and therefore deserved death penalty.

The court held both the accused guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 302 (murder), 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 364 (abduction) and 120 (b)(criminal conspiracy).

Nikam contended that the case had a big impact on the society as it concerned the safety aspect of the women working in the IT sector.

The case led to a review of safety of transport system of BPO companies in the city and an increased vigil on part of police who started monitoring the car transport agencies.

Badar while pronouncing the verdict, took the reference of the National Commission for Women-sponsored survey conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) titled "Night Shift for women: Growth and Opportunities."