Supreme Court Issues Notice on Bail Granted to Convicts in 2008 Murder of Journalist Soumya Vishwanathan

The Supreme Court has issued a notice on a petition challenging the bail granted to four men convicted in the 2008 murder of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, raising questions about the efficacy of India's criminal justice system.

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Supreme Court Issues Notice on Bail Granted to Convicts in 2008 Murder of Journalist Soumya Vishwanathan

Supreme Court Issues Notice on Bail Granted to Convicts in 2008 Murder of Journalist Soumya Vishwanathan

The Supreme Court of India has issued a notice on a petition challenging the bail granted to four men convicted in the 2008 murder case of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan in Delhi. The petition was filed by Soumya's mother, Madhvi Vishwanathan, seeking cancellation of the bail granted to the convicts by the Delhi High Court in February 2024.

In November 2023, a Special Court had awarded double life imprisonment to the four convicts - Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik, and Ajay Kumar - over 15 years after Soumya's murder. Among them, Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, and Baljeet Malik were also convicted in the 2009 murder case of IT professional Jigisha Ghosh. The convicts were booked for murder under the Indian Penal Code and under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act for committing organized crime.

However, in February 2024, the Delhi High Court suspended the life sentences of the four convicts and granted them bail, noting that they had already spent nearly 15 years in jail since their arrest. Madhvi Vishwanathan has now approached the Supreme Court, questioning this order.

During the hearing, the Supreme Court bench initially was not inclined to issue a notice. However, after the counsel for Soumya Vishwanathan argued that the accused were involved in organized crimes and were awarded double life sentences, the bench issued a notice returnable after four weeks, seeking detailed replies from the four convicts and the Delhi government.

Why this matters: The case highlights the long road to justice for victims and their families in India's criminal justice system. The granting of bail to convicts in such a high-profile murder case, years after their sentencing, raises questions about the efficacy and timeliness of the legal process.

25-year-old TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan was fatally shot in September 2008 while returning home from work in her car in South Delhi. The Delhi Police had initially said the motive was robbery. "The case involves the murder of 25-year-old TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, who was fatally shot in 2008 while returning home from work in her car," Soumya's counsel submitted to the Supreme Court. The court has now sought responses from the Delhi Police and the four convicts within four weeks on

Key Takeaways

  • SC issued notice on plea challenging bail to 4 convicts in Soumya Vishwanathan murder case.
  • Convicts were awarded double life sentences in 2023 for Soumya's 2008 murder and Jigisha Ghosh's 2009 murder.
  • Delhi HC suspended life sentences and granted bail to convicts in Feb 2024, citing 15 years in jail.
  • Soumya's mother approached SC, questioning the bail order; SC sought replies from convicts and Delhi govt.
  • Case highlights delays in India's criminal justice system, with convicts getting bail years after sentencing.