Soumya Vishwanathan Murder case: Mother of Slain Scribe moves SC against Bail granted to 4 convicts

The mother of TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, who was shot on Nelson Mandela Marg while returning from work in her car in 2008, has filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court’s order granting bail and suspending the life sentence of four men convicted in the case.

The division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Girish Kathpalia of the high court had delivered the order on February 12, noting that the convicts have been behind bars for nearly 14 years.

The bench had said that their life sentence will remain in suspension till this court deals with their appeal against conviction and sentencing in the case.

Now, the deceased’s mother’s SLP is likely to be listed on April 22 before the top court.

The Saket court had, in November last year, sentenced Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik, and Ajay Kumar to life imprisonment, while the fifth convict, Ajay Sethi, was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Four of them — Ravi, Amit, Baljeet and Ajay — had sought suspension of the sentence during the pendency of appeals.

Earlier in January this year, Malik and Shukla had filed appeals through advocate Amit Kumar against the trial court’s October 18, 2023, judgement convicting them and the November 25, 2023 sentencing.

While convicting the accused, the court had said that the offence does not fall in the category of “rarest of rare” cases, and had refused to grant the request for the death penalty.

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Kapoor, Shukla, Kumar, and Malik were convicted under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) provisions and Sethi for receiving stolen property. The police had attributed the motive for her killing to robbery, and had invoked the stringent MCOCA against the accused.

Malik, Kapoor, and Shukla were previously convicted in the 2009 killing of IT executive Jigisha Ghosh. For Ghosh’s murder, the trial court sentenced Kapoor and Shukla to death and awarded a life term to Malik. Subsequently, in the following year, the high court commuted the death sentences of Kapoor and Shukla to life imprisonment while upholding Malik’s life term in the Ghosh murder case.

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