Soumya Vishwanathan's father dies, a day after TV journalist's birth anniversary
MK Vishwanathan died days after a Delhi court sentenced rigorous life imprisonment to four members of a gang for killing Soumya Vishwanathan.
MK Vishwanathan, the father of TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, died on Saturday, days after a Delhi court handed down double rigorous life imprisonment to four members of an organised crime syndicate for killing her around 15 years ago in the national capital.
MK Vishwanathan, 82, passed away just a day after what would have been his daughter's 41st birthday. Soumya Vishwanathan, who worked at Headlines Today (now India Today), was shot dead in her car on Nelson Mandela Road, in south Delhi, on her way home from the office on September 30, 2008, between 3.25am and 3.55am. Police investigation found the motive to be robbery. As they were chasing her car in an attempt to rob her, the accused allegedly shot and killed Vishwanathan.
On November 25, the special court awarded two life imprisonments to Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik and Ajay Kumar under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and U/s 3 (1) (1) of The Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (committing organised crime resulting in the death of any person) and made clear that they will run "consecutively".
The special court did not agree to the vehement submissions of the prosecution seeking the death penalty, saying the act of the four convicts to murder the victim does not fall within the category of "rarest of rare cases".
Referring to some Supreme Court verdicts, guidelines regarding the sentencing policy, submissions on behalf of the state and on behalf of the convicts and the pre-sentence report as filed by the probation officer, the court said, "the present case and the act of the (four) convicts to murder the victim do not fall within the category of rarest of rare cases category in which the death penalty can be imposed."
The court also observed that it was "unfortunate" that Vishwanathan who was a "young, dynamic and hard-working journalist" lost her life due to the act of the convicts.
Overnight, MK Vishwanathan's life underwent a transformative shift. Over the subsequent 15 years, his daily routine revolved around pursuing the case and making regular visits to the police station. The legal struggle concluded with justice being delivered just last month.
Expressing her sentiments on the judgment, Madhavi Vishwanathan, the mother of Soumya, conveyed her "satisfaction" with the outcome but admitted that she did not feel "joyful."
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