Jessica Lal murder: Delhi HC issues notice in Manu Sharma’s plea for early release
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Jessica Lal murder: Delhi HC issues notice in Manu Sharma’s plea for early release

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Delhi Government in Jessica Lal murder convict Manu Sharma’s plea seeking his early release from jail.

Notice was issued by a Division Bench of Justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal.

Sharma was sentenced to life imprisonment for commission of offences under Sections 302, 201, 120B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959 after he was found guilty of murdering Jessica Lal at a party in Delhi in April 1999.

Till date, he has undergone almost 23 years in Jail with remission and 17 years without remission.

It is Manu Sharma’s grievance that in spite of fulfilling all the required parameters, including favourable quarterly reports and spending more than 20 years in Jail in terms of a Sentence Review Board Order July 16, 2004, the Board rejected his case for early release in July this year in an utmost unfair, arbitrary and impartial manner.

Sharma’s plea was considered by the Board pursuant to an order passed to this effect by the Court in January this year.

Sharma has contended that since the Government’s own Commutation Roll and Synopsis placed before the Board mentioned that his case fell within the SRB order, it cannot be disputed that he ought to be given its benefit.

It is also claimed that the reports received from all the concerned departments, including Jail, Social Welfare Department (Hometown and Local) and Police (Hometown and Local) supported the release of Sharma and no adverse finding was recorded whatsoever.

The petitioner has thus argued that the reasoning recorded by members of the SRB is not only contrary to the facts and reports placed before it but is also misleading and contemptuous.

Manu Sharma was represented by Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Advocate Amit Sahni.

The matter would be heard next on December 16.

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