NEW DELHI: After seven years of wait and trial, the family members of Jigisha Ghosh took a sigh of relief on Monday after city awarded death penalty to two of the accused. The 28-year-old Jigisha, who worked as an Information Technology executive, was abducted, robbed and brutally killed in 2009 in the national capital. The court awarded death penalty to two accused -- Ravi Kapoor and Amit Shukla -- saying the magnitude and brutality of the crime made it “a rarest of rare cases”.
Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav also sentenced the third accused, Baljeet Singh Malik, to life imprisonment. In the court room, Kapoor and Shukla looked expressionless while Malik seemed shocked upon hearing the sentence.
The parents of Jigisha Ghosh welcomed the verdict saying justice has been done to their deceased daughter. “I had hoped for the two convicts to get death penalty and that is exactly what has happened,” Jigisha's mother Savita Ghosh said.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 1.1 lakh against Kapoor, Rs 2.8 lakh against Shukla, and Rs 5.8 lakh against Malik and directed that Rs 6 lakh be given to Jigisha's parents as compensation from the amount collected from the convicts.
“Offence in the present case was committed in cold-blooded, inhuman and cruel manner. Innocent, helpless and vulnerable victim remained in the captivity of convicts for hours,” the court observed.
The court further said that that to save herself Jigisha handed over her debit card and other belongings to the convicts and also disclosed the PIN numbers of the debit card to the convicts but the convicts killed Jigisha even after she pleaded for her life. “The convicts were satisfied only by brutally mauling her to death,” the court said.
“In other words, the convicts behaved in uncivilised and barbaric manner against a helpless girl. It is the level, magnitude and degree of brutality, attitude and mindset of wrongdoer behind the crime along with other factors which makes it a rarest of rare cases,” the court further noted.
The court also mentioned that gruesome crimes against women are on the rise and showing leniency will send a wrong message to the society.
In awarding death penalty to Kapoor and Shukla, the court relied upon a report submitted by probation officer which recommended extreme penalty, observing that they cannot be reformed and would be a threat to society. The probation officer said Malik's behaviour was normal throughout the trial. The court also observed that they cannot be reformed and rehabilitated.
The court on July 14 convicted the trio under Sections 302 (murder), 201 (destruction of evidence), 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 482 (using a false property mark) with 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code.
Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan sought maximum punishment for the convicts as they showed no remorse while killing Jigisha.
She was working with Hewitt Associate Pvt Ltd as an operations manager. On March 18, 2009 she was abducted and killed after she was dropped near her home in Vasant Vihar area of South Delhi by her official cab around 4 am. Her body was recovered on March 20, 2009 near Surajkund in Haryana.
The three convicts in the case are also accused of murdering television journalist Soumya Vishwanathan on September 30, 2008 while she was returning home from her office.
The pre-sentence report was prepared by probation officer after getting information from jail authorities, opinion of clinical psychologist and opinion of sociologist, information from home surrounding and general outlook. On July 14, the court has directed the Delhi government's Home Department Secretary to immediately appoint a probation officer who will submit a report on the behaviour of the three accused.
The report said that conduct of Kapoor and Shukla were unsatisfactory as they were involved in misconduct, misbehaviour and other violations of jail rules and there are many complaints against them in jail.
Kapoor is facing trial in eight criminal cases, including two murder case. He has also been convicted and served jail term for voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty. The report suggested that convicts Kapoor and Shukla could not be rehabilitated and reformed and will be a threat to society in future. Shukla is notorious prisoner as many complaints of misconduct were filed against him and a extortion case was registered against him while he was in jail. Shukla was involved in seven cases including one murder case. He has been convicted in two cases.