Serial killer gets death in third murder case

Asks court to fix date of execution, requests to be shifted to Jail 2 to get legal advice 'from Afzal Guru, other high-profile inmates'.

Chandrakant Jha, a serial killer who was convicted last week of murdering three persons between November 2006 and May 2007, was handed a second death sentence on Wednesday. The court has sentenced him to death for two murders and life imprisonment for the third.

During the hearing, Jha told the court to fix a date for the hanging. When the judge told him that the death penalty was to be confirmed by the High Court, Jha filed an application asking to be shifted to Jail No. 2 in Tihar, where he claimed to have "friends who will help in the legal aspects of filing an appeal". Court sources said Jha had claimed to have received help on legal issues "from Afzal Guru and other high-profile prisoners" in Jail No. 2. The court asked DIG (Prisons) to appear on Thursday and submit a reply to Jha's transfer application.

The court of Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau, which had on Tuesday sentenced 46-year-old Jha to death in the second of the three murder cases, imposed the same punishment on Wednesday for the murder of 25-year-old Amit Mandal from Bhagalpur, Bihar.

Jha, who hails from Bihar, worked as a fruit seller and has been accused multiple times in cases of theft, attempt to murder and murder. Senior public prosecutor

P K Verma, in his arguments before the court, had pushed for the maximum sentence on the grounds that Jha had a "track record of violence and has been involved in many serious offences".

The judge also noted Jha's argument that his conduct had been "justified" as an "attempt to revolt against the system".

"It is time to think and ponder that if this kind of policing has created one Chandrakant Jha and if our policing continues the way it does, many more are in the making. It is a wake-up call for the government to bring about long-awaited police reforms," the court said.

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