After 15 Years, Four Convicted for Murder of TV Journalist Soumya Vishwanathan

A Delhi court convicted four persons on Wednesday for the murder of television journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, who was shot dead on the way home from work 15 years ago.

Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik, and Ajay Kumar were also convicted under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) by Additional Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Pandey.

Ajay Sethi, the fifth accused, was convicted under Indian Penal Code section 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) as well as MCOCA provisions for conspiring to abet, help, or knowingly support organized crime and obtaining the proceeds of organized crime.

The judge ruled that the prosecution had proven the charges against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt and listed the case for sentencing on October 26.

Soumya Vishwanathan was killed in her car on her way home from work on September 30, 2008, at 3:30 a.m. The motive for the killing, according to police, was robbery.

Five people were arrested and have been held in custody since March 2009.

According to police, the recovery of the weapon used in the murder of IT executive Jigisha Ghosh has led to the cracking of Soumya Vishwanathan’s murder case.

After Malik petitioned the Delhi High Court for a speedy trial in 2019, the court sought a report from the trial court, inquiring as to why the trial hadn’t concluded despite the fact that the charge sheet was filed nine and a half years prior.

The trial court notified the high court that the delay was caused mainly due to the absence of prosecution witnesses and the time required to designate a special public prosecutor.

The trial court had given the death penalty to Kapoor and Shukla and sentenced Malik to a life term in the Jigisha Ghosh murder case in August 2016.

However, in January 2018, the High Court commuted the death convictions of Kapoor and Shukla to life imprisonment and upheld Malik’s life sentence.

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