Justice Bhayana, who had let off Jessica killers, retires

Justice SL Bhayana of Delhi High Court, who as a trial court judge had acquitted all the nine people involved in the April 1999 killing of ramp model Jessica Lall, is set to retire next week.

Updated: Apr 09, 2011, 00:54 AM IST

New Delhi: Justice SL Bhayana of Delhi High
Court, who as a trial court judge had acquitted all the nine
people involved in the April 1999 killing of ramp model
Jessica Lall, is set to retire next week.

The high court to which, Bhayana was elevated on February
28, 2006, a week after delivering his judgement, will also be
having another vacancy as it’s another judge Justice Mool Chand
Garg has been transfered to Madhya Pradesh High Court.

The two judges were given a joint farewell by the high
court`s bar and bench which praised their contribution to the
judiciary.

The high court organised farewell for the Justice
Bhayana on Friday as he is set to retire on April 14 while
Justice Garg is to relinquish his charges on Monday. The court
is closed next week on account of Ram Navami and and local
holidays.

Justice Bhayana had hit the headlines for acquitting
Jessica Lall killlers, including senior Congress leader Venod
Sharma`s son Manu Sharma and others. His judgement had
prompted widespread protests by civil societies and triggered
a campaign aimed at "Justice for Jessica."

Taking suo motu cognisance of widespread protest
against Bhayana`s ruling, a division bench of the Delhi High
Court had taken up the review of the judgement and reversed
it, sentencing Manu and three others to life in jail.

While reversing his acquittal order, the bench had
described Justice Bhayana`s reasoning for acquitting Manu
Sharma as "strange", "totally wrong", "immature" and
"positively perverse".

It had also questioned the bona fides of his judgement
saying it "suggests a hasty approach towards securing a
particular end, namely, the acquittals."

The Supreme court, upholding the life imprisonment of
Sharma in the case, later, however, had expunged the remarks
made against him.

PTI