Soumya Vishwanathan Murder Case: Delhi’s Saket court on Wednesday convicted all the accused in the 2008 murder case of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan for murder. Vishwanathan was shot dead on September 30, 2008 while she was returning home from work in her car around 3:30 am.
While pronouncing the verdict, court marked the attendance of all the accused, Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Ajit, Baljit, Ajay Sethi & Ajay Kumar. While delivering the verdict, the court said it believes “it’s beyond doubt that the accused people murdered Saumya Vishwanathan with an intention to rob her.”
Judgement in the case:
Additional Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Pandey had reserved the judgment in the case on October 13 after the completion of arguments by the defence and prosecution.
Police had claimed that the motive behind Soumya Vishwanathan’s killing was robbery. Five men — Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik, Ajay Kumar and Ajay Sethi — were arrested for killing her and are in custody since March 2009.
Police had invoked the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the accused. The recovery of the weapon used in IT executive Jigisha Ghosh’s killing had led to the cracking of Vishwanathan’s murder case, police said.
Plea in Delhi HC in 2019 for speedy trial
After Baljeet Malik moved a plea in the Delhi High Court in 2019 for a speedy trial, it sought a report from the trial court as to why the trial had not concluded nine-and-a-half years after the chargesheet was filed.
The trial court then informed the high court that the delay was primarily due to the non-presence of prosecution witnesses and the time taken for the appointment of a special public prosecutor.
The trial court had given death penalty to Ravi Kapoor and Amit Shukla and sentenced Baljeet Malik to a life term in the Jigisha Ghosh murder case in August 2016. In January 2018, however, the high court had commuted the death sentence of Kapoor and Shukla to life imprisonment and upheld the life term of Malik.