2009 Jigisha murder case: Death penalty for two, one sentenced to life imprisonment
A court here on Monday awarded death penalty to two convicts and life term to another for murdering and robbing IT executive Jigisha Ghosh here in 2009.
Two convicts – Ravi Kapoor and Amit Shukla – were asked to be “hanged by their necks”, third convict Baljeet Malik has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the court.
Delhi Police had sought death penalty for them saying they killed her for "pleasure" and showed no remorse.
Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav on Saturday had reserved the order on sentence after the arguments concluded and a pre-sentencing report (PSR) was submitted by probationary officer.
"Pre-sentencing report received...Copy has been supplied to counsel for the convicts. Arguments heard. Order on sentence to be pronounced on Monday," the judge said after hearing the arguments of prosecution, convicts and perusing the pre-sentencing report which gave details about the bakground of the guilty persons.
However, the judge ordered for maintaining confidentiality of the report.
28-year-old Jigisha, working as an operations manager in a management consultancy firm, was abducted and killed on March 18, 2009 after she was dropped by her office cab around 0400 hours near her home in Vasant Vihar area of South Delhi.
Her body was recovered three days later from a place near Surajkund in Haryana, police had said.
Seeking death sentence for the convicts - Ravi Kapoor, Baljeet and Amit Shukla, Special Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan argued that they had abducted Jigisha, robbed her, killed her and used her debit card for shopping, and a CCTV footage of their shopping showed they had no remorse for their act.
"There was no provocation. There is no mitigating factor in the matter. It was murder for pleasure. The footage shows they had no remorse at all, which is an aggravating factor," he said.
Rebutting the arguments of prosecution, defence counsel sought minimum sentence of life for the convicts contending that they did not have any previous criminal involvement and were young at the time of the incident.
Advocate Amit Kumar, appearing for convicts Baljeet and Amit Shukla, argued that his clients have already spent over seven years in jail and maintainted good conduct.
The counsel for convict Ravi Kapoor sought leniency for his client saying he suffered from a life threatening disease and belonged to a poor background.
The defence counsel also termed the PSR contradictory and biased contending that it did not mention the incident when convict Amit Shukla was brutally beaten inside the jail.
During arguments when the SPP referred to the alleged involvement of the three convicts in the Soumya Vishwanathan murder case, the defence counsel objected to it saying it was a separate case which was still pending and referring to it would cause them prejudice during the proceedings.
The court had, a month ago, held the three men guilty of murder, abduction, robbery, forgery and common intention under IPC, saying it was "abundantly clear" that they had committed the crime. Kapoor was also convicted for the offence of using firearms under the Arms Act.
While convicting them on July 14, the judge had said "they committed her murder and disposed of her body in bushes and circumstantial evidence makes it clear that it was these men who committed the crime."
The police had filed the charge sheet in the case in June 2009 and trial began on April 15, 2010.
Recovery of the weapon allegedly used in Jigisha's murder had led to the cracking of the murder case of Soumya Vishwanathan, who was a journalist with a news channel.
Soumya was shot dead on September 30, 2008 while she was returning home in her car from office in the wee hours.
Police had claimed robbery as the motive behind the killing of both Jigisha and Soumya.
The accused had used Jigisha's ATM card to buy expensive goggles, wrist watches and shoes from Sarojini Nagar market in South Delhi, police had said.