Delhi High Court on Monday granted bail to four convicts serving life imprisonment in the murder case of TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan. A bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Manoj Jain suspended the sentence of Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Singh Malik and Ajay Kumar till the pendency of their appeals challenging their conviction and sentence.
The bench noted that the convicts have been in custody for 14 years.
The high court had on January 23 asked the Delhi Police to respond to the appeals filed by the four convicts.
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Vishwanathan, who worked with a leading English news channel, was shot dead in the early hours of September 30, 2008, on Nelson Mandela Marg in south Delhi while she was returning home from work in her car.
A special court had on November 26, 2023, awarded two life terms to Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik and Ajay Kumar under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 3(1)(i) (committing organised crime resulting in the death of any person) of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
The court had made it clear that the sentences will run «consecutively».
The fifth convict, Ajay Sethi, was handed down three years of simple imprisonment under section 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of the IPC.
It, however, set off the three-year sentence against the time Sethi had already served, noting he remained in custody for more than 14 years and underwent incarceration during the trial for offences under the IPC and MCOCA for conspiring