Millennium Post

Jigisha murder case: Death row convict challenges conviction

One of the two death row convicts in the 2009 Jigisha Ghosh murder case has moved the Delhi High Court challenging his conviction and the sentence awarded to him by the trial court. Convict Amit Shukla, who along with accused Ravi Kapoor was handed down death penalty has approached the high court, saying the trial court has awarded him the capital punishment by “wrongly holding that the case falls in the category of rarest of rare”.

The trial court on July 14 held Kapoor, Shukla and Baljeet Malik guilty on various counts, including the murder of 28-year-old IT executive Jigisha. The court while sentencing Kapoor and Shukla to death on August 22, had said the girl was killed in a “cold-blooded, inhuman and cruel manner” and “brutally mauled to death”.

The third offender Baljeet Malik was given reprieve from the gallows for his good conduct in jail. Malik has already challenged his conviction and sentence of life imprisonment by the trial court before the high court. While seeking setting aside of his conviction and order on sentence, Shukla through his counsel Amit Kumar said the trial court has committed error by awarding death penalty simply on the basis of biased jail/probation report about his client. “It has also not been noticed that for the similar offence one of the convict has been sentenced for life imprisonment,” the appeal, which would come up for hearing on September 15, said.

Meanwhile, the trial court, which has awarded death to two of the accused has sent the case file to the Delhi High Court for confirmation of the capital punishment.

It is mandatory for a trial court to refer a death penalty case to a high court for confirmation of sentence within 30 days of the pronouncement of the verdict. The trial court had also imposed varying fines on the convicts, with Kapoor being slapped with a fine of Rs 1.2 lakh due to his inability to pay, while Shukla and Malik were directed to pay Rs 2.8 lakh and Rs 5.8 lakh respectively as pre-sentencing report suggested they were financially stronger. 
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