Serial killer gets death penalty for beheading victim

New Delhi:  Serial killer Chandrakant Jha was on Tuesday sentenced to death for the second case of identical crime by a Delhi Court which said his offence falls under the "rarest of rare case" as the brutality committed by him shows he "cannot be reformed".

Jha's modus operandi was to behead and chop the body parts of the victims leading to their death. He then dumped the headless bodies outside Tihar Jail.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Kamini Lau said, "He be hanged by the neck till he is dead" for taking away the life of 19-year-old Upender as his brutality showed he does not possess "basic humanness".

"Aapko Sazaae maut sunayi gayi hai ise mukadame me (You have been awarded death penalty in this case)," the judge told 46-year-old Jha, who looked nervous in the court during the time of sentencing, when he came in front near the dais.

The court also said there was a probability that Jha, a native of Madhepura in Bihar, would again commit a similar act of violence and would continue to pose a threat to the society.

"The convict is a menace to the society and the manner in which he has engaged himself into senseless serial killings shows that he is beyond reform.

"Certain category of perpetrators of crime who if not removed from the circulation of the society would destroy it," the court said. It also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on Jha.

Jha, who has sought the copy of judgment in Hindi, was today sentenced to death in the second of the three murder cases in which he has been convicted.

Yesterday, he was sentenced by the same court to life imprisonment till his death in another case of murder, in which also he had chopped off the head and limbs of the victim and had dumped the body near Tihar Jail in New Delhi.

Public Prosecutor P K Verma said that in this case, on the intervening night of April 24-25, 2007, Jha had chopped the head, hands, legs and private parts of Upender, who was residing with him, leading to his death.

Jha then wrapped the beheaded body of Upender in a gunny bag and dumped it outside gate number 3 of Central Jail, Tihar in New Delhi, prosecution said.

Jha, who was sent to jail for seven years for destroying the evidence in order to screen himself from punishment, had thrown the head and other body parts of the victim at various places in New Delhi, it said.

He was arrested by the Delhi Police in May 25, 2007 in Mianwali Nagar in New Delhi.

The court noted that after committing the murders, Jha had even threatened and challenged the police by writing several letters to them to nab him and that he would send "similar gifts" (beheaded bodies) to them after every 15 days.

The sentencing in the remaining murder case in which Jha had beheaded a man named Anil in 2006 in a similar manner will be pronounced tomorrow.

While sentencing, the court noted that Jha was involved in 14 criminal cases including seven murder cases.

Amicus curiae Deepak Sharma, appearing for Jha, had sought a lenient view towards the convict on the ground that he is a patient of asthma and any stern view will cause mental, financial and social trauma to his wife and five minor daughters.

The court, however, turned down his plea saying that the manner of killing is "extremely brutal, grotesque and diabolical so as to raise intense and extreme indignation of the community."

"Mental/physical suffering inflicted on the victim before his death is immense. There is significant degree of planning on the part of Jha while committing the murder," it said.

While holding that the case falls within the category of "rarest of rare case", the court said that the murder of Upender was in cold blood without any immediate provocation by the victim.

The judge said the intention of the convict was to cause public outrage only because he wanted to avenge the wrong done to him by the police system in falsely implicating him in cases and to some extend he succeed in it.

The court also said that Jha's act of threatening the police that he would sent such gifts again reflects "lack of remorse" and his intention to "repeat his criminal act".

Jha was arrested in 1998 in connection with a murder case but was acquitted for want of evidence. In December 2007, a Delhi court had acquitted him after the police had failed to file a charge sheet against him in another murder case.

The police had said Jha had invited his victims to stay with him and took good care of them. After some time, he would get annoyed with them and took offence to their activities.

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