Delhi HC grants bail to four life convicts

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday granted bail to four convicts, serving life imprisonment in the 2008 murder case of TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan.A bench headed by Justice Suresh Kumar Kait suspended the sentence of convicts–Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Singh Malik and Ajay Kumar –till the pendency of their appeals challenging their conviction and sentence.The bench also comprising Justice Girish Kathpalia noted that the four men had already served their sentence for 14 years and 9 months.The four convicts were approaching the high court challenging their conviction and sentence.Fifteen years after the journalist shot dead in the national capital in 2008, a Delhi Court, on October 18 last year, had convicted four persons for the murder, saying the prosecution has duly proved “beyond all reasonable doubt” that the quartet committed the crime with intention to rob the deceased.Additional Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Pandey at Saket Court held that the four persons–Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Ajay Kumar and Baljeet Malik  are guilty and convicted for charge of offence punishable under 302 (murder) and 34 (offence committed with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).The fifth accused in the case, Ajay Sethi, was convicted for the offence of receiving stolen property. All five accused persons, including Sethi, have been convicted under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) which was invoked on the basis of previous involvement of the organized crime syndicate and continuous unlawful activity.It was the case that on September 30, 2008, between 03.25 am to 03.55 am, on the Road from the Vasant Vihar Side to Vasant Kunj Side, the accused persons shot Soumya in order to rob her.The bullet was fired by the accused Ravi Kapoor while targeting the victim when the accused persons were chasing the victim’s car through the accused person’s Wagon-R car being driven by Ravi Kapoor in order to rob the victim.It is further alleged that the victim was chased by the accused persons when she was returning from her office to her home and the accused persons chased the victim’s car in order to rob her as she was travelling alone.

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