A Delhi court on Monday awarded the death penalty to two convicts for kidnapping and killing IT executive Jigisha Ghosh in 2009.
Additional sessional Judge Sandeep Yadav awarded the death penalty to Ravi Kapoor and Amit Shukla, while the third accused, Baljeet Malik was sentenced to life in prison.
Kapoor, Malik and Shukla’s shopping spree using Jigisha’s debit card after murdering her is what landed them in the police net in March 2009.
The court earlier found the trio guilty of abducting Jigisha from outside her house in Vasant Vihar, robbing, murdering and abandoning the body in Haryana’s Surajkund.
After dumping her body in the bushes near Surajkund in Haryana, the men returned home and distributed the booty, investigators had told HT.
Malik kept the Rs 20,000 cash they withdrew using Jigisha’s card, Kapoor kept her emerald-studded gold chain and Shukla took her green sapphire rings.
The next morning, the trio met again to go shopping, investigators said. First they went to PVR Anupam in Saket and withdrew Rs 5,000 using her card. To see if they could swipe her card directly, they bought a CD from a music shop at the district centre and signed on the customer receipt. They bought a pair of Reebok shoes for Shukla from a showroom in Saket.
“Reebok shoes have a unique number engraved on them that is also mentioned in the receipts, besides the card’s account number. The men ignored it. They also went to Sarojini Nagar to shop more,” said a senior police officer.
The officer said they bought two pairs of sunglasses and a pair of Reebok shoes each for Malik and Kapoor. They followed it up with a wristwatch for Rs 10,000 and an LCD TV for Rs 20,000.
The men had little clue that Jigisha’s father would follow the lengthy paper trail they had left behind and hand it over to the police.
“We went to all shops from where the men purchased all the goodies and accessed the CCTV footage from the cameras installed inside… they had worn the caps such that their faces were covered. But in one of the footages, we spotted a tattoo on Baljit’s hand. The men were…nabbed at Nelson Mandela Marg,” an investigator said.
He said the car used in the crime, also a stolen property, and Jigisha’s jewellery were seized from them.
A 15-hour interrogation had the trio confessing to the crime, the police said. They claimed they were drunk and looking for a target, when they spotted Jigisha. She was on the phone, outside her house. They forced her into the car, robbed her of her jewels and wallet, and took her to an ATM and asked for her password.
“They withdrew Rs 20,000 and again took her to the car. They slapped her repeatedly, stepped on her face and smothered her to death. They drove her body around for half-an-hour before dumping it,” a police officer said.
They also admitted to killing journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, a sensational case that had hit a dead end, a few months ago.
In Tihar Jail, their cells had to often be changed because they created a ruckus, the police said. In January 2013, the police arrested Tihar hospital’s compounder for allegedly receiving Rs 50,000 from a Vaishali resident on behalf of Amit Shukla.
This is an updated version of a story published on July 15, 2016