Serial killer

Chandrakant Jha escapes gallows; HC awards life term

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today ruled that serial killer Chandrakant Jha need not be hanged, but would have to spend his life in jail. The trial court had awarded death sentence to Jha in three murder cases, but the HC reduced his penalty to life sentence in all the cases.

laxmi@tribune.com

Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 27

The Delhi High Court today ruled that serial killer Chandrakant Jha need not be hanged, but would have to spend his life in jail. The trial court had awarded death sentence to Jha in three murder cases, but the HC reduced his penalty to life sentence in all the cases.

A Bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and RK Gauba noted that Jha in his confessional letters had stated that his deviant behaviour was due to the fact that he had been falsely implicated and harassed by the police in several criminal cases during 2003-05.

Jha was also a family man with children and had worked and earned his livelihood as a vegetable vendor, the HC pointed out and observed that "these palliative and relieving factors cannot be ignored or rejected as make-believe."

A native of Madhepura in Bihar, Jha was sentenced to life term till death in a case relating to killing of one Dilip, whose headless body was dumped near Tihar Jail in 2007.

On February 5, 2013, a trial court here awarded death penalty to Jha for killing 19-year-old Upender. The trial court had ruled that the offence fell in the "rarest of rare cases" and that he "cannot be reformed".

On February 6, 2013, Jha was awarded death penalty in yet another crime involving the beheading of one Anil Mandal in 2006 and dumping his body outside the jail.

Jha was arrested by the Delhi Police in May 25, 2007 in Mianwali Nagar here. He was earlier arrested in 1998 in a murder case but was acquitted for want of evidence.

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