In a surprising turn of events, the Delhi High Court has granted bail to four convicts in the infamous Saumya Vishwanathan murder case. The decision, which comes over a decade after the young journalist's tragic death, has stirred controversy and reopened wounds for her family and supporters.
What was the case?
Saumya Vishwanathan, a 25-year-old journalist working with Headlines Today (now known as India Today TV), was brutally murdered in the early hours of September 30, 2008, while driving home after a late-night shift. Her body was found in her car, which had crashed into a divider in Delhi's Vasant Kunj area. She had been shot multiple times, sending shockwaves through the media fraternity and society at large.
While the trial court had sentenced Kapoor, Shukla, Malik, and Kumar to double life imprisonment and fined them ₹1.25 lakh each, Sethi was fined ₹7.25 lakh. In a recent decision, the high court refused parole to Kapoor due to the severity of his offences.
Among the four convicts, Kapoor, Shukla, and Malik were also found guilty of the murder of IT professional Jigisha Ghosh. They later confessed to the police their involvement in Vishwanathan's murder, with the recovery of the murder weapon from their possession.
According to Delhi Police, the motive behind Vishwanathan's murder was robbery.
The bench noted that the convicts have been in custody for 14 years. This decision comes after Kapoor’s counsel's plea submission of suspending his sentence. A similar prayer for suspension of the sentence was also made by advocate Amit Kumar, who represented Shukla, Malik, and Ajay Kumar.
The granting of bail to the four convicts has once again brought attention to the broader issue of crime against women and the need for systemic reforms to address the underlying factors that enable such atrocities to occur.
As the legal proceedings continue, the spotlight remains firmly on the Saumya Vishwanathan murder case, underscoring the importance of ensuring justice for victims and their families while also striving to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.