New Delhi: In a sensational claim, Manu Sharma’s lawyer told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that his client had not killed Jessica Lall.
Manu, 32, is serving life sentence in the case after the Delhi high Court found him guilty of shooting down Jessica, in cold blood, on the intervening night of April 29, 1999, when she was working as a celebrity bar maid in the Tamarind Court Bar owned by socialite Bina Ramani.
Manu’s celebrated lawyer Ram Jethmalani requested the apex court, where the case is being heard following the appeal against the High Court verdict, to not find Manu guilty on the basis of the deposition by Bina Ramani.
Jethmalani said that as per Bina Ramani, she had asked someone, just after the gruesome murder as to who killed Jessica, and someone told her that it was Manu.
Manu Sharma, son of political heavyweight Venod Sharma, was known as a party regular in the late 1990s. On the day of the incident (as per initial eyewitness accounts, many of which were later retracted), Manu had arrived at the Bar after its closure time and had an altercation with Jessica – he asked for a drink and was reportedly not served one.
He then, allegedly, fired twice, once in the air, and one at Jessica, killing her instantly. He was nabbed later following a nation-wide manhunt that lasted for seven days, after he secured anticipatory bail.
But he was acquitted of all charges in February 2006 after witnesses who had originally claimed to have seen Manu Sharma shoot Jessica turned into hostile witnesses.
Later, following a nationwide hue & cry, the High Court took up the case on a fast track basis and convicted him and sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2006.
Among the evidence re-introduced were two spent cartridges recovered from Manu`s car, the ballistic analysis for one of which showed it as matching the bullet recovered from Lall`s skull. This evidence had been overlooked by the trial court.
Since then, Manu Sharma was incarcerated in the Tihar Jail along with the co-accused Vikas Yadav and Amardeep Singh Gill, who were found guilty of destroying evidence.
Manu was in the news, a few months back, after he was seen partying in Delhi, during the parole he got to tend to his supposedly ailing mother.