Exemplary punishment for heinous crimes
She was robbed and murdered, and her body disposed of near Surajkund in Faridabad. The police team did its job well to crack the case, arrest the culprits and follow it up diligently in the court. But for the parents of the victim these seven years have been a nightmare.
The parents have continuously received threat calls asking them to not pursue the case. Given the grief and threat, Jigisha’s parents have developed health problems. Their biggest support in this battle has been the parents of another victim of the triumvirate Saumya Vishwanathan, a journalist was shot in her car in September 2008.
The recovery of the weapon used in Jigisha’s murder had helped police crack the Soumya murder case. The two families have kept in touch and stood with each other.
Pronouncing the verdict, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Sandeep Yadav said it was “abundant clearly” from “direct and circumstantial evidence” that the three men — Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik and Ravi Kapoor — had “abducted Jigisha for committing murder”. The convicts have also been held guilty of charges pertaining to destruction of evidence, forgery, robbery, and common intention under sections of Indian Penal Code.
The arguments on the quantum of punishment would be heard on August 20. Since the offence includes murder, which can be punished with the death, the court has directed the Secretary of the Delhi Home Department to assign a probation officer.
The officer will submit a pre-sentence report to ascertain if the convicts were likely to commit criminal acts of violence in the future and could be considered a “continuing threat to society.”
The accused are lodged in Tihar Jail but have shown no signs of regret over the crime they committed. Amit Shukla and Baljeet Malik are lodged in Jail no. 1 while Ravi Kapoor is in high-security jail no. 5. Kapoor and Shukla have given enough trouble to the jail authorities in the last few years and their cells are changed every two months. Shukla was also caught making extortion calls to builders in Delhi and Mumbai from jail last year.
The murders of Saumya and Jigisha were not ordinary crimes but assault on the independence of women, who are trying to make space for themselves in the Indian society. Both were returning home from work and would have grown to do well in their respective professions.
However, the presence of criminal minds in the society like the accused in the impugned case were not just motivated by the lure of lucre but encouraged by the mindset that women are a soft target. Given the circumstances, the court must handover exemplary punishment to these scourges in the society.