NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today stayed three orders of the Delhi High Court granting parole and bail to an accused facing trial in the sensational 2008 murder case of TV journalist Soumya Viswanathan.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan issued notice and sought the reply of accused Ravi Kapoor on a plea of Delhi Police challenging the high court orders.
Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the police, said the accused was a dreaded criminal and had been awarded death by the trial court in a murder case which was later commuted to life sentence by the high court.
He has also been facing trial in another murder case and booked for charges under MCOCA, Singh said.
The bench sought Kapoor's reply in four weeks.
Earlier this week, the apex court had stayed the release of Kapoor from jail till today after a Delhi High Court order granting him bail on July 6.
Kapoor was also convicted in the 2009 murder case of business executive Jigisha Ghosh and awarded death sentence by a trial court.
But the capital punishment was later commuted to life term by the high court earlier this year.
The trial in the 2008 Soumya Viswanathan murder case is pending before a trial court here.
Soumya was shot dead on September 30, 2008 when she was returning home in her car from office in the wee hours.
The police had earlier claimed robbery as the motive behind the killing of both Jigisha and Soumya.
On January 4, the high court had reduced to life sentence the death penalty awarded to two of the three convicts in the Jigisha Ghosh murder case, saying the crime did not qualify as "rarest of rare" warranting capital punishment.
A division bench of the high court, while modifying the death penalty awarded to Ravi Kapoor and Amit Shukla, had also confirmed the life sentence to the third convict, Baljeet Malik, in the murder case.
28-year-old Jigisha Ghosh, an operations manager in a management consultancy firm, was abducted and killed on March 18, 2009, after she was dropped by her office cab around 4 am near her home in Vasant Vihar area of South Delhi.
Her body was recovered three days later from a place near Surajkund in Haryana.