Bengaluru | The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence to serial rapist and killer Umesh Reddy on Wednesday, rejecting his petition to commute it to life imprisonment.
A division bench of Justices Aravind Kumar and Pradeep Singh Yerur also gave six weeks to Reddy for filing an appeal in the Supreme Court.
Reddy argued through his counsel that the mercy petition before the President is taking time and he is not in a sound state of mind.
His mercy petition was rejected by the President in 2013. Presently, he is lodged in the Hindalaga Jail in Belagavi in a separate barrack earmarked for death row convicts, where he was shifted from Bengaluru Central Prison on October 26, 2006.
Reddy, who, according to police, has confessed to killing 18 women, has been convicted in nine cases.
The police say that he raped at least 20 women across Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, and it is suspected that several of his crimes have not been reported as victims feared social stigma.
Hailing from Karnataka’S Chitradurga district, he was posted in Jammu and Kashmir after being selected in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). While on duty as a guard at the house of a commandant, he tried to rape the commandant’s daughter. Later, he fled and managed to join the Karnataka Reserve Police.
Reddy targeted housewives between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., getting into the house on the pretext of asking for water or an address. He then threatened them with a knife, forced them to remove their clothes, tied them up, and raped them.
He often choked his victims and raped them while they were unconscious. After the rape, Reddy killed his victims and robbed their jewels. He escaped with his victims’ undergarments.
He was arrested and dismissed from service when his one of the victim identified him at a Republic Day police parade. Reddy was found wearing women’s lingerie under his clothes.
After escaping from prison, he killed an income tax officer’s wife in Bengaluru, a girl in Ahmedabad, two girls in Baroda and a widow in Kunigal, Karnataka.
He was again arrested by Bengaluru police in july 1997 for stealing women’s undergarments. The police recovered a sack full of lingerie from him.
Reddy was sentenced to death on October 26, 2006, by a Bengaluru fast track court. On October 4, 2007, a division bench of the Karnataka High Court differed on the death sentence, and Justice S.R. Bannurmath, appointed to resolve the matter, upheld the death sentence. The Supreme Court also upheld capital punishment.
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