Serial killer’s death penalty commuted to life term

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday commuted to life term the death sentence handed down to serial killer Chandrakant Jha.

A division bench of Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice R.K. Gauba commuted the death penalty, saying there was no eyewitness in the case but held that the imprisonment would be for entire life without remission.

“In the present case, there is no eyewitness and the prosecution has relied upon circumstantial evidence which, we have held, has been proved beyond reasonable doubt,” the court said.

“We would convert the death sentence to life imprisonment (or) imprisonment for entire life without remission without affecting the power under articles 72 and 161 of the constitution. This would be appropriate and proportional sentence. We order accordingly.”

Jha, from Madhepura in Bihar, was sentenced to death in 2013 in two cases and to life imprisonment in one.

Jha murdered Anil Mandal in 2006, 19-year-old Upender and another person referred to as Dalip, both in 2007.

According to police, in order to conceal the identity of his victims and to destroy evidence, Jha threw the heads and other body parts at various places in Delhi and dumped the bodies outside the Tihar Jail here.

The prosecution said he used to challenge the police to nab him by sending them letters threatening he would send “similar gifts” (bodies) after every 15 days.

Jha was caught on May 20, 2007, near Mianwali Nagar here.

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