Jigisha murder: HC commutes death sentence of 2 to life

Jigisha murder: HC commutes death sentence of 2 to life

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence of two convicts in the 2009 Jigisha Ghosh murder case.

A division bench of Justice S. Murlidhar and Justice I.S. Mehta modified the death sentence awarded to Ravi Kapoor and Amit Shukla by the trial court and said they would serve life imprisonment.

The death row convicts had challenged the trial court's conviction and sentence.

The trial court had on July 14, 2016, held the two guilty of the murder of IT executive Ghosh and on other counts.

The 28-year-old operations manager at Hewitt Associates Pvt Ltd in Noida was abducted after an office car dropped her around 4.00 a.m. near her Delhi home.

While sentencing the two to death, the trial court had said she was killed in a "cold-blooded, inhuman and cruel manner" and "brutally mauled to death".

The trial court had said that the "magnitude and brutality" exhibited by the convicts made the case "rarest of rare", warranting capital punishment for Kapoor and Shukla.

The trial court had also sentenced a third offender, Baljeet Malik, to life imprisonment.

Ghosh was also robbed of her gold jewellery, two mobile phones and debit and credit cards on the day of the murder.

Her body was found near Surajkund in Haryana, about 20 km from her Vasant Vihar home.

The police had arrested the three within a week following digital footprints, after the suspects used Ghosh's ATM cards to buy expensive goggles, wristwatches and shoes at the Sarojini Nagar Market in Delhi.

They got nailed after police identified them from a CCTV footage. Malik's hand tattoo busted the gang as the surveillance camera at a shop captured the image when the three were out shopping.

The trial court had held the three guilty under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including murder, abducting for murder, destruction of evidence, voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery, forgery for purpose of cheating and using as genuine a forged document.

However, the charge of criminal conspiracy could not be proved against them.

In June 2009, the police had filed the charge-sheet in the case stating that Ghosh's post-mortem report had revealed that she was killed by smothering. The trial in the case began in April 2010.

The three were also facing trial for the murder of TV journalist Soumya Viswanathan, killed a year before Ghosh.