New Delhi, Aug. 22 : A Delhi court on Monday awarded the death sentence to Ravi Kapoor and Amit Shukla for kidnapping and killing IT professional Jigisha Ghosh in New Delhi in 2009 and the third convict Baljeet Malik was sentenced to life in prison.
The three convicts Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla and Baljit Singh Malik have also been asked to pay a fine of Rs.
20,000, Rs. one lakh and Rs. three lakh respectively. The trio is also accused of murdering television journalist Soumya Vishwanathan on September 30, 2008, while she was returning home from her office.
During the hearing, the court observed that the offence in the present case was committed in cold-blooded, inhuman and cruel manner and that the 'innocent, helpless and vulnerable victim' remained in the captivity of convicts for hours.
In order to save herself, Jigisha handed over her debit card and other belongings to convicts and also disclosed the PIN numbers of the said debit card to convicts.
But the accused remained unmoved and killed her, even after she pleaded for her life, the court observed.
Asserting that the convict behaved in uncivilised and barbaric manner against a helpless girl, the court further observed that the level, magnitude and degree of brutality, attitude and mindset of wrongdoer behind the crime along with other factors, makes it a rarest of rare cases.
Gruesome crimes against women are on the rise and showing leniency will send a wrong message to the society, the court said.
It was stressed upon that leniency will encourage criminals like convicts while passing an appropriate sentence in such cases will go a long way in arresting the increasing trend of crime against women.
The Delhi Police had on Saturday sought maximum punishment for all three convicts in the murder case. Defence lawyers, however, had 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 Baljit Singh Malik, during the argument on allocating quantum of sentence said 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 ANI.
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.
Jigisha, 28, working with Hewitt Associate Pvt. Ltd. as an operations manager, was abducted and killed on March 18, 2009, after she was dropped near her home in Vasant Vihar area of South Delhi by her official cab around 4 a.m.
The trial had begun on April 15, 2010, with examination of her father as the first prosecution witness.
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.