A Delhi court on Saturday sentenced four men convicted in the 2008 murder case of TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan to life imprisonment, while the fifth convict was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Saying that the offence does not fall in the category of "rarest of rare" cases, the court refused to grant the request for death penalty.

Ravi Kapoor, Amit Shukla, Baljeet Malik, and Ajay Kumar have been sentenced to life imprisonment and Ajay Sethi has been sent to jail for three years.

The court's order on quantum of sentence came after it was reserved it on Friday.

Kapoor, Shukla, Kumar, and Malik were convicted under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) provisions on October 18 and Sethi for receiving stolen property.

On September 30, 2008, Vishwanathan was shot dead on the Nelson Mandela Marg while returning home from work in her car.

The accused were arrested in connection with the murder and have been in custody since March 2009. The police had attributed the motive for her killing to robbery, and had invoked the stringent MCOCA against the accused.

Malik, Kapoor, and Shukla were previously convicted in the 2009 killing of IT executive Jigisha Ghosh. For Ghosh's murder, the trial court sentenced Kapoor and Shukla to death and awarded a life term to Malik. Subsequently, in the following year, the high court commuted the death sentences of Kapoor and Shukla to life imprisonment while upholding Malik's life term in the Ghosh murder case.

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