Four convicted in murder of TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan
Delhi court convicts four men in the 2008 murder of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, a case that remained unsolved for 15 years
A Delhi court on Wednesday 18 October convicted four people in the murder of television journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, who was shot dead 15 years ago as she was returning home from work.
Additional sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Pandey also convicted Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik and Ajay Kumar under the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
A fifth accused, Ajay Sethi, was convicted under section 411 IPC (dishonestly receiving stolen property) and under MCOCA for conspiring to abet, aid or knowingly facilitate organised crime and for receiving the proceeds of organised crime.
The judge said the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt the charges against the accused and listed the matter for sentencing on 26 October.
Vishwanathan was shot dead on 30 September 2008 as she was returning home from work in her car around 3.30 am. Police had claimed that the motive behind the killing was robbery. Five people were arrested for the murder, and they have been in custody since March 2009.
The recovery of the weapon used in IT executive Jigisha Ghosh's killing led led to the cracking of Vishwanathan's murder case, the police said.
After Malik moved the Delhi High Court in 2019 for a speedy trial, it sought a report from the trial court, asking why the trial had not concluded even though the charge sheet was filed nine-and-a-half years ago.
The trial court had informed the high court that the delay was primarily owing to the non-presence of prosecution witnesses, and the time taken for the appointment of a special public prosecutor.
The trial court had awarded the death penalty to Kapoor and Shukla and sentenced Malik to a life term in the Jigisha Ghosh murder case in August 2016. In January 2018, however, the high court commuted the death sentences to life imprisonment and upheld the life term for Malik.