New Delhi: A Delhi court will on Monday pronounce the quantum of sentence for all three convicts in the March 18, 2009 murder case of IT executive Jigisha Ghosh.
The three convicts abducted 28-year-old Jigisha, an operations manager with Hewitt Associate Pvt Ltd at its Noida office, after the office car dropped her around 4am near her Delhi home and robbed her of her gold jewellery, two mobile phones, and debit and credit cards on March 18, 2009. Her body was found near Surajkund in Haryana, about 20km from her Vasant Vihar home.
The trio — Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla and Baljit Singh Malik — was arrested within a week, as police followed digital footprints after the suspects used Jigisha’s ATM cards to buy expensive goggles, wristwatches and shoes at Sarojini Nagar Market in southern Delhi. They got nailed after police identified them from CCTV footage. Malik’s hand tattoo busted the gang as the shop’s surveillance camera captured the image when the trio was out shopping.
The trio disclosed to police during cross-examination they had shot dead television journalist Soumya Vishwanathan as well, when she was driving home after a night shift in office on September 30, 2008. The murder weapon, a gun, was recovered from them. They strangulated Jigisha to death, and to throw investigators off-track, they threw one of her mobile phones in a moving truck and another on the road, police said.
Defence lawyers, however, have sought lenient punishment for the convicts citing their family situation. During the argument, a defence lawyer representing Ravi Kapoor said that he was only 27 and suffering from a life threatening disease. He also has two small children to support, the lawyer added.
Meanwhile, Amit Kumar, defence lawyer for Baljeet Malik, said during the argument on allocating quantum of sentence, that the court should consider giving minimum punishment to the accused, considering their age and previous conduct.
“Considering their (accused) tender ages, there are chances that they should be allowed to come in the mainstream. On the basis of that, we have requested for minimum punishment prescribed under Section 302 of the IPC,” Kumar told media.
On the other hand, Savita Ghosh, Jigisha’s mother, said the accused have committed cold-blooded murder, and therefore, should be given the death sentence.
The court had framed charges against the accused under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Arms Act, dealing with murder, criminal conspiracy, abduction, robbery, forgery and using firearms. The recovery of the weapon allegedly used in the murder of Jigisha also led to the cracking of the Soumya murder case.