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Business News/ News / Journalist Soumya Vishwanathan murder case: Delhi High Court grants bail to four life convicts. All we know so far

Journalist Soumya Vishwanathan murder case: Delhi High Court grants bail to four life convicts. All we know so far

Journalist Soumya Vishwanathan murder case: Delhi High Court suspends life imprisonment sentence of four convicts charged in the murder case, grants them bail.

TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan was murdered on September 30 in 2008 in Delhi.

Journalist Soumya Vishwanathan murder case came to the spotlight when Delhi High Court today, on February 12, granted bail to four convicts who were serving life imprisonment sentence.

On Monday, the Delhi High Court presided over by a bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Manoj Jain suspended the earlier sentence awarded by a special court till the pendency of their appeals challenging their conviction and sentence.

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Also read: Soumya Vishwanathan murder: Court sentences four convicts to life imprisonment, refuses death penalty request

How was Soumya Vishwanathan murdered?

Soumya Vishwanathan worked with a leading English news channel. In 2008, while Vishwanathan was returning home from work in her car she was shot dead in the early hours of September 30 on Nelson Mandela Marg in south Delhi.

Also read: Saumya Vishwanathan murder: Delhi court convicts 5 accused in 15-year-old crime, sentencing on Oct 26

Motive behind Soumya Vishwanathan's murder

The Delhi Police had said that the motive behind Soumya Vishwanathan's murder was robbery. Convicted Ravi Kapoor shot the journalist with a country-made pistol while chasing her car to rob her, according to the prosecution, while being accompanied by three others.

What was the court's verdict?

Last year, a special court had awarded two life terms to Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik and Ajay Kumar on November 26. These convicts were charged under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 3(1)(i) (committing organised crime resulting in the death of any person) of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). Moreover, While sentencing the four convicts to double life imprisonment, the trial court had also imposed a fine of 1.25 lakh on each of them.

Also read: Delhi news: Swiss woman's body tied with iron chains found near school in Tilak Nagar; accused arrested

Meanwhile, the fifth convict, Ajay Sethi, was handed down three years of simple imprisonment under section 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the IPC. The trial court had imposed a fine of 7.25 lakh on Sethi. The court had further made it clear that the sentences will run "consecutively," reported PTI.

Considering the gravity of the offences committed by Kapoor, the high court denied parole. On January 23, the High Court issued a notice to Delhi Police to respond to the appeals filed by the four convicts.

What judgement did the Delhi High Court give today?

On February 12, the Delhi High Court comprising Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Manoj Jain suspended the life imprisonment sentence of Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Singh Malik and Ajay Kumar.

Also read: Maharashtra news: Journalist Nikhil Wagle's car attacked by BJP workers in Pune, opposition calls it ‘goonda raj’

As for the fifth convict, Ajay Sethi, the court set off the three-year sentence against the time he had already served during the pendency of the appeal following Ravi Kapoor's counsel's request to suspend his sentence. The bench noted that Ajay Sethi had been in custody for over 14 years and underwent incarceration during the trial for offences under the IPC and MCOCA for conspiring to abet, aid, or knowingly facilitate organised crime and receiving proceeds of organised crime.

Advocate Amit Kumar representing Shukla, Malik and Ajay Kumar also made a suspension request of the earlier verdict.

(With inputs from PTI)

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