New Delhi: The main accused in the murder of television journalist Soumya Vishwanathan has been sent to three years in jail by a Delhi court in a separate case of trying to escape from custody by throwing chilli powder on police officials in 2009.
Metropolitan magistrate Ashok Kumar handed down the jail term to Ravi Kapoor for trying to run away from Safdarjung hospital where he was taken by jail authorities for an x-ray.
The court held him guilty for the offences under sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 224 (resistance or obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension), 353(assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 186(obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) of the IPC.
"The accused has been held guilty for the wrongful act of obstructing police officials of the escorting party in the discharge of their public functions by use of criminal force by throwing chilli powder in the eyes of prosecution witness 4 (assistant sub inspector) and then attempted to escape from legal custody and caused hurt to PW4 in the process.
"In my view such a conduct will spread a very encouraging signal to the people who do not hesitate to take law in their own hands and have the guts and the brazenness to commit such offence unless dealt with iron hands," the magistrate said, while awarding the sentence.
The court, while relying on the statements of prosecution witnesses, said, "It is clear from the testimony of all the prosecution witnesses, who were present and who either escorted the accused to the hospital or were already present at the hospital due to some reason that all of them saw him running away after releasing himself from the legal custody of the police officials".
According to the prosecution, Kapoor, an undertrial prisoner who is also accused of killing IT executive Jigisha Ghosh, was taken to Safdarjung Hospital here for a check-up on October 19, 2009 when he attempted to escape by throwing chilli powder on policemen.
Kapoor was taken to the hospital by ASI Umed Pal, head
constable Jagdish and constable Satyapal and the incident took place when they were going to collect his X-Ray report, it said.
While one policeman had gone to collect the report, Kapoor who was waiting with two cops, took their permission to go to the toilet and after he returned, he took out chilli powder from his pocket and threw it on the policemen to escape.
However, he was again caught after a few minutes of chase in the hospital premises.
Kapoor, who was arrested on March 24, 2009 continues to face the trial in both the murder cases.
Soumya was murdered in south Delhi on September 30, 2008. The Delhi Police claimed to crack the case in March 2009 capturing five suspected killers-- Ravi Kapoor, Ajay Sethi, Baljit Malik, Amit Shukla and Ajay Kumar.
The accused had allegedly tailed the journalist and shot at her when she was returning home by her car from office at around 3.30am.
Apart from various Sections of the IPC, the accused were also booked under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).