Salman Khurshid
Salman Khurshid

Jessica Lal case: Delhi HC rejects Manu Sharma's plea for premature release

ANI | Updated: Jan 21, 2019 18:47 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 21 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday disposed of a plea filed by Jessica Lal murder convict Manu Sharma for premature release.
Manu is serving a life term in Tihar Jail. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Jessica Lal in 1999.
The court has directed the Sentence Review Board (SRB) to consider the plea in the next meeting due in March. However, the court has granted him the liberty to approach it in case of any difficulty. Sidharth Vashisht, better known as Manu Sharma, had approached the court for his premature release.
"SRB heard the application thrice. There is no adverse observation against Manu Sharma. People far less deserving have been released. The last time Manu Sharma's plea for premature release was rejected there was only one vote against him. The court has been told of the Sushil Sharma case. The petition relies on that judgement," said senior advocate Salman Khurshid who is appearing for Manu Sharma.
"We understand that the ambit is very narrow. Some reason has to be given. His conduct is appreciated. The convict is in the open jail. No question at any stage. In fact, all parameters for release are covered. The offence was not pre-meditated. The board has rejected the plea the third time based on the ground of perversity of the offence," Khurshid added.
Sharma in the petition stated that the SRB acted in a biased, unfair and illegal manner while rejecting his plea for premature release. He approached the court almost a month after the court had ordered the forthwith release of Congress leader Sushil Sharma, who serve almost 23 years in prison for the murder of his wife Naina Sahni in 1995.
Jessica was shot by Manu when she refused to serve him liquor at Tamarind Court restaurant, owned by socialite and designer Bina Ramani at Qutub Colonnade in south Delhi's Mehrauli on April 29, 1999. Manu Sharma is the son of former Congress leader Venod Sharma. (ANI)