Mumbai, A Mumbai court today sentenced a man to life imprisonment for kidnapping and murdering a 13-year-old boy four years ago. Principal sessions judge S Agarwal also imposed a fine of Rs nine lakh on Vijesh Sanghvi, who was convicted on October 9 for abducting and killing Aditya Ranka, a south Mumbai resident, on May 13, 2013.
“The court imposed life imprisonment on two counts, murder and kidnapping for ransom, while it sentenced him to seven years’ jail term each for extortion and destruction of evidence,” said special public prosecutor Kalpana Chavan.
The court made it clear that Sanghvi will first serve the two seven-year sentences simultaneously, and then the life imprisonment will begin, Chavan said. The court also directed that the fine amount should be paid to the victim’s mother.
According to the prosecution, Aditya’s cousin Himanshu Ranka, who needed money to pay off a debt of Rs 10 lakh due to betting on IPL matches, hatched the conspiracy to kidnap the boy and seek ransom from his parents.
Himanshu was aware that his uncle and Aditya’s father Jitendra Ranka, a diamond merchant, was to receive Rs 30 lakh on the day of the incident. Himanshu took Aditya away promising him a joyride, and handed him over to Sanghvi. Himanshu then returned and stayed home with his uncle to avoid suspicion, the prosecution said.
When Jitendra Ranka received the ransom call, the family approached the V P Road police station. As the Crime Branch of Mumbai police started probing the case, Himanshu panicked and called Sanghvi. According to the prosecution, the duo decided to kill the boy. The body was subsequently dumped at Panvel near Mumbai.
The court, however, acquitted Himanshu of all charges, observing that the prosecution failed to prove its case against him beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution had demanded death sentence for Sanghvi, saying that it was a gruesome offence.