We are more relieved than happy, says Girish's family
Shubha Shankaranarayan (28), who hatched a conspiracy to kill her fiancé B.V. Girish seven years ago, was sentenced to life imprisonment along with her three accomplices by the Fast Track Court 17 (FTC) here on Wednesday afternoon.
Shubha, the prime accused, conspired to murder Girish, the software engineer to whom she was engaged in November 2003, to be married five months later. Shubha's boyfriend Arun Verma — her junior in B.M.S. College of Law — his cousin Dinakar alias Dinesh, and Venkatesh, a known delinquent, are the other three.
Additional three years
Shubha, who masterminded the murder, got an additional three years' simple imprisonment and an additional penalty of Rs. 25,000 for destroying evidence. This sentence will run concurrently. All the four sat expressionless as FTC Judge V.S. Vontigoli pronounced the sentence to a packed court hall around 4 p.m.
Apart from the life imprisonment, the judge imposed a fine of Rs. 50,000 each. He directed that of the penalty of Rs. 2.25 lakh, Rs. 2 lakh should be paid as compensation to Girish's family. Failure to pay it will entail an additional year's simple imprisonment, Special Public Prosecutor B. Venkata Rao told journalists at the premises of the court. B.V. Ramesh, Girish's brother, welcomed the verdict. “The judgment has brought more relief than happiness to our family, particularly my father who died, unable to bear the pain,” he told The Hindu. “Everyone knew that they had done it. But we wanted it to be clear in the judgement. Today's order will restore the common man's faith in courts. The court has upheld the truth.”
Girish, a resident of 22nd Main Road in Banashankari Second Stage, was murdered on December 3, 2003, on the Indiranagar-Koramangala Intermediate Ring Road near what was then called the Jumbo Point, where people stopped to watch flights take off and land from the old airport. Shubha, his neighbour and daughter of an advocate, had been engaged to him just a few days prior to his murder. The engagement was forced on her after her father Shankaranarayan, learned of her affair with Arun.
A desperate Arun had hired Venkatesh for Rs. 1,500 to murder Girish. Shubha, on December 3, out on a date with Girish, persuaded him to stop to Jumbo Point. Even as Girish was watching the progress of a flight, Venkatesh crept up from behind, hit him on the head with a shock absorber. Girish died of his injuries later.
The then Viveknagar Police Inspector Dawood Khan arrested the four and submitted a charge sheet against them in court. The four spent three months behind bars before getting a bail. They were taken into custody on Tuesday soon after the verdict. While they were pronounced guilty, the Judge reserved the sentencing to Wednesday.
C.V. Nagesh, Shubha's lawyer, said his client plans to appeal against the verdict.