For first of three murders, 46-year-old gets life in jail

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Sentencing him in the first of the three murder cases he has been convicted, a Delhi court on Monday awarded life imprisonment to Chandrakant Jha, making clear that he will have to spend the rest of his life in jail.

The court said Jha "followed a definite pattern" in the multiple murders: he "killed the victims by decapitating their heads... chopped their various body parts... threw the decapitated bodies... outside the Central Jail, Tihar and scattered dismembered body parts at various places around Delhi".

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau sentenced Jha, a 46-year-old from Madhepura in Bihar who worked as a fruit-seller, after finding him guilty of the murder of 25-year-old Dalip.

Commenting on the "exceptional depravity and extreme brutality" of the murders, the court said the post-mortem report had "confirmed" that "death in this case was a result of decapitation" and not a case where the head was cut off after death.

Jha has also been convicted of the murder of two other men, Upendra and Amit. For these, separate sentences will be pronounced on Tuesday and Wednesday. Senior Public Prosecutor P K Verma said the prosecution has demanded the death penalty for Jha for "aggravated offence" in the remaining two cases.

In Dalip's case, his dismembered torso was left outside Gate No.1 of Tihar Jail on May 18, 2007. His arms and genitals were found outside the Tis Hazari court in a carton the next morning. The police received a phone call — it was later proved to have been made by Jha — informing them about the body outside Tihar. The police also came across legs near the Kishanganj nullah. After the arrest of Jha, a skull was recovered from the banks of the Yamuna.

In its order, the court pulled up the police for not having been able to identify Dalip and failing to trace his family. No formal identification was done of the body and the court records name him "Dalip" only because Jha identified him as such. The police have been directed to preserve DNA evidence from the body and "ensure that coordinated steps are taken along with counterparts in Bihar" to trace the family of the victim.

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