The murder of TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, Delhi’s Saket District Court delivered its verdict on Saturday. The court, presided over by Additional Sessions Judge Ravindra Kumar Pandey, handed down life imprisonment to four of the accused — Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik, and Ajay Kumar. The fifth convict, Ajay Sethi, received a three-year sentence. The court also imposed hefty fines on all the convicts, underlining the gravity of the crime.
The case dates back to the tragic murder of Soumya Vishwanathan, a talented and promising TV journalist, who was shot dead while driving home in the early hours of September 30, 2008. The incident sent shockwaves through the media industry and the public, raising concerns about the safety of journalists and the need for swift justice.
The court’s verdict was a result of a thorough examination of the evidence presented during the trial. The four convicts, Kapoor, Shukla, Malik, and Kumar, were found guilty of their involvement in the heinous crime and were sentenced to life imprisonment. In addition to the life sentences, each of them was ordered to pay a fine of ₹1.25 lakh.
Ajay Sethi, the fifth accused, received a comparatively lighter sentence of three years in prison. The court took into consideration that Sethi had already served more than 14 years of imprisonment, and therefore, imposed a fine of ₹7.25 lakh on him.
The court’s decision to hand out life sentences to four of the accused reflects the severity of the crime and the court’s commitment to delivering justice. The imposition of substantial fines further underscores the accountability of the convicts for their actions. The contrasting sentence for Ajay Sethi, considering his time already served, demonstrates a nuanced approach to justice.
The verdict sends a strong message about the consequences of attacking and taking the life of a journalist, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding press freedom and the safety of those who work in the media industry.