Soumya Vishwanathan murder case: Delhi HC grants bail to four convicts | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Soumya Vishwanathan murder case: Delhi HC grants bail to four convicts

Feb 12, 2024 02:55 PM IST

The bench also allowed their application seeking suspension of sentence after taking note of the fact that the four men had already served their sentence for 14 years 9 months

The Delhi high court on Monday granted bail to four convicts charged with the murder of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan.

The four convicts had approached the high court challenging their conviction and sentence. (HT archive)
The four convicts had approached the high court challenging their conviction and sentence. (HT archive)

A bench led by justice Suresh Kumar Kait suspended their sentence till the pendency of their appeal challenging their conviction.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

The bench also comprising justice Girish Kathpalia allowed their application seeking suspension of sentence after taking note of the fact that the four men had already served their sentence for 14 years 9 months.

The four convicts had approached the high court challenging their conviction and sentence.

The high court had on January 23 also sought Delhi Police’s response in their bail plea.

Also Read: Soumya murder case: 4 convicts given life terms

After a trial which lasted 15 years, the city court on October 18 had found the four men- Baljeet Malik, Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla and Ajay Kumar guilty of murder and convicted them under sections 302 (murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and sections pertaining to organized crime resulting in the death of any person of the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA). It had also convicted the fifth accused– Ajay Sethi under Section 411 of IPC (dishonestly receiving stolen property) and under sections 3(2) and 3(5) of MCOCA.

The court had observed that the prosecution had successfully proven through scientific evidence, testimonies of witnesses, and Kapoor’s confessional statement that the four men were guilty of Vishwanathan’s murder.

In November, 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.

While convicting Sethi, the court held that he had retained the offending vehicle and abetted or knowingly facilitated the commission of organised crime and used to hold the property derived from the proceeds of organised crime.

Vishwanathan, who worked with Headlines Today (now India Today), was shot dead in her car on Nelson Mandela Road, in south Delhi, on her way home from the office on September 30, 2008, between 3:25am and 3:55am.

Police investigation found the motive to be robbery.

As they were chasing her car in an attempt to rob her, the accused allegedly shot and killed Vishwanathan.

Malik, Shukla and Kumar in their appeal filed through advocate Amit Kumar had submitted that the judgment and order on sentence could not sustain in the eyes of law as the FIR regarding Vishwanathan’s murder in 2008 was lodged as a blind murder case, wherein there had not been any arrest till March 2009, adding that there was a huge media pressure on the Delhi Police to solve the case.

They had argued that the Delhi Police had falsely booked them for Vishwanathan’s murder, while arresting them for the murder for the murder of 28-year-old BPO employee Jigisha Ghosh in 2009, without any evidence or link and on basis of their allegedly recorded disclosure statements.

“The prosecution miserably failed to link these accused persons in commission of the alleged offense dated August 30, 2008. There has not been any recovery of any weapon/vehicle from the accused persons. They have never been prosecuted for the commission of any offense under the Arms Act. There is no eyewitness or CCTV footage on record to prove the participation of the accused persons as alleged in the case,” read their plea.

The plea further stated that the prosecution also failed to prove the membership of Amit Shukla and Malik as members of “organised crime syndicate” adding that the FIR was falsely booked to invoke MCOCA against them.

Unveiling 'Elections 2024: The Big Picture', a fresh segment in HT's talk show 'The Interview with Kumkum Chadha', where leaders across the political spectrum discuss the upcoming general elections. Watch now!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, April 19, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On