New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday again came down heavily on the city government for giving preferential treatment to Jessica Lall murder case convict Manu Sharma in granting parole while neglecting such pleas of "poor" people languishing in jail for years.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar asked the government whether inquiry was conducted on how Sharma managed to get parole.
"Did you conduct inquiry about Manu Sharma? Please tell us why convict from poor and weak section never get parole and only influential people get it," the Bench said.
"See the effect of this case. It is likely poor people who have been languishing in jail would not be given parole to meet their family members because of this case," it said adding "due to huge backlash in the case even the genuine person cannot get parole".
The government, however, contended that a guidelines is being prepared by it for granting parole to the convict without any discrimination.
Earlier, a single judge Bench of the court on November 20 had taken strong exception to the "utmost speed" with which parole was granted Manu Sharma.
"The list (regarding number of parole applications) depicts a dismal picture showing the government is giving least priority to parole applications of convicts. No doubt, the Home Department has given selective treatment to some convicts because of their high connections," the court had said.
"No doubt, one such case is of Siddharth Vashist
alias Manu Sharma whose application of parole was disposed of
with utmost impromptu," the court had said.
The court directed the government to take an unbiased
approach while dealing with parole pleas and asked it to
decide all the 98 pending parole applications within a month.
"The government cannot sit over the application of the
convicts for unduly long time. It cannot favour or disfavour
someone and every convict should be treated alike without any
favour of disfavour," the court said, pointing out that in
some cases the parole applications have been pending with the
government for the past five months.