R S Sodhi: A man of justice

Justice R S Sodhi of the Delhi Court has reserved a place for himself in the hearts of people by pronouncing landmark justice in the Jessica Lal murder case. Quashing the lower court order, a Bench comprising Justice Sodhi and Justice PK Bhasin sentenced main accused Manu Sharma to a life-term and gave a jail term of four year each to co-accused Vikas Yadav and Amardeep Singh Gill in face of immense pressure.

Justice R S Sodhi of the Delhi Court has reserved a place for himself in the hearts of people by pronouncing landmark justice in the Jessica Lal murder case. Quashing the lower court order, a Bench comprising Justice Sodhi and Justice PK Bhasin sentenced main accused Manu Sharma to a life-term and gave a jail term of four year each to co-accused Vikas Yadav and Amardeep Singh Gill in face of immense pressure.
Born on 11th November 1945, Justice Sodhi passed out from Bishop Cotton School in Shimla and graduated from Jalandhar in 1969. After doing LLB from Punjab University in 1972, he enrolled as an Advocate with Bar Council of Delhi in the same year.

Justice Sodhi practiced in constitutional, civil, criminal, land revenue and excise matters in the Supreme Court of India for 25 years, and was appointed as a Judge of Delhi High Court on July 7, 1999.

Justice Sodhi came into limelight in 2002 when he acquitted former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao and his Cabinet colleague Buta Singh in the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha bribery case. Quashing the order of the trial court that had earlier convicted Narasimha Rao in October 2000, Justice Sodhi said that the testimony of the approver lacked credibility.

In May 2005, in a rather controversial judgment, Justice Sodhi quashed charges against Europe-based three Hinduja brothers, Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand, and Swedish arms manufacturer A B Bofors in the multi-billion dollar Bofors pay-off case.

"No case can be proceeded against the Hindujas or the Bofors Company in the absence of original documents. I quash the framing of charges by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate against the Hinduja brothers and the A B Bofors Company", Justice R S Sodhi said in his order.

Prior to announcing judgment in the Jessica Lal case, Justice Sodhi in October 2005 awarded death sentence to Santosh Singh for the rape and murder of Delhi University law student Priyadarshini Mattoo. Thus, restoring the faith of people in Indian judicial system. With the latest judgment in the Jessica Lal case, he has not only proved that no one is above law but also raised the standard of judiciary.

Bureau Report

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