New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday ordered the Chief Secretary to appoint a special prosecutor in the murder case of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, after her parents wrote to him seeking speedy trial in the case.
The bereaved parents of TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan, who was shot dead, more than 10 years ago, had recently approached the chief minister seeking justice for their daughter.
In a letter addressed to the chief minister and AAP convener, Soumya’s father wrote that he and his family were tired of the “hollow assurances” from authorities, and expressed hope from a “concrete response” from him.
Reportedly, five people were arrested in 2009 on charges of murder and are still placed under custody, but the case has since been moving at snail’s speed at Delhi’s Saket district court.
Those arrested include Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik, Ajay Kumar and Ajay Sethi under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC and under the provisions of MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act).
‘WISH YOU NEVER HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS’
A PTI report quoted from the letter written by the slain journalist’s father MK Vishwanathan, “Over this period, there have been changes in courts, judges and public prosecutors more than once. We are seriously concerned about both, the pace at which the trial is moving as well as the quality of efforts being put in the proceedings by the prosecution… “
He also added that the change of public prosecutor in the case has given rise to their concerns regarding the state’s intentions to proceed with the trial.
He added that unlike the first prosecutor on the case, the current and the previous public prosecutors have been “unresponsive” in giving any updates to his family on the progress.
He said that 10 years ago — his daughter was shot dead when she was 25 — the police and the authorities made huge efforts in making the arrests and putting together a strong case against the accused.
“But with time as the media visibility of the case went down, so did the interest of the State in getting us justice.”
Soumya was shot dead on September 30, 2008, when she was returning home in her car from office in the wee hours.
He further wrote, “We urge you to help us get the best possible prosecution talent appointed to this case. In case the current prosecutor is overloaded or unable to focus on this case for any reason, please appoint a special prosecutor to help move things along.”
The distressed parents said they were disheartened to see hearing-after-hearing, “a meandering sense of apathy” with which the proceedings are taking place.
The parents’ note ended with, “We wish you never have to go through what we have for the past ten years. While the court’s verdict cannot bring our daughter back, the least we expect from our judicial system is to do what it’s designed to do — get her justice. We have stayed extremely patient and supportive of the system all this while, and sincerely hope the system would not let us down.”