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Delhi HC grants bail to journo Soumya Vishwanathan's murder convicts

By Shreya Agarwal      12 February, 2024 07:54 PM      0 Comments
Delhi HC grants bail to journo Soumya Vishwanathan's murder convicts

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has granted bail to four convicts - Baljeet Malik, Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla and Ajay Kumar - charged with the murder of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan.

They had moved the Court seeking suspension of their sentence. The bench comprising Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Girish Kathpalia allowed the application, taking note of the fact that the four convicts had already served their sentence for 14 years 9 months.

Thus, the Court suspended their sentence till the pendency of their appeal in High Court against their sentence and conviction.

Earlier, the Court had issued notice on their plea and sought the Delhi Police’s response in their bail plea.

After a trial which lasted 15 years, they were convicted for the 2008 murder of the TV journalist.

Additional Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Pandey had said that prosecution has duly proved beyond all reasonable doubt that accused Ravi Kapoor and his other associates co accused Amit Shukla, Ajay Kumar and Baljeet Malik had committed murder of the deceased/victim Saumya Vishwanathan with intention to rob her.

The incident, which occured on September 30, 2008 in between 03.25 am to 03.55 am at Nelson Mandela Marg Road at posh Vasant Vihar here, had sent shock waves across the nation.

The four accused were held guilty and convicted for charge of offence punishable under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC.

Another accused Ajay Sethi was convicted of the offence of retaining the stolen Wagon R Car used by all the accused in chasing the victim on the fateful night.
All the five accused had also been convicted of various offences under the Maharashtra Organised Crime Control Act, as the prosecution proved they indulged in organised crimes for their living.

The prosecution has also duly proved beyond all reasonable doubt that accused Ajay Sethi abetted or knowingly facilitated the commission of organised crime by the organised crime syndicate led by accused Ravi Kapoor having its other members/co accused Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik, Ajay Kumar, the court had held.

Initially, the case was believed to be a car accident until forensic reports disclosed her cause of death as a gunshot wound to the head.

The five men, convicted by the court, were in custody since March 2009.

The Police claimed the murder case of the 25-year-old journalist was cracked after the recovery of the weapon used in another case in which an IT executive, Jigisha Ghosh was murdered.

After their conviction, the court had sentenced four of the five convicts to two life imprisonments and had directed the two to run consecutively.

It had however refused to grant death penalty to the four observing that the act did not fall within the category of “rarest of rare” but imposed a fine of ₹1.25 lakh on each of them.



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