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Jessica Lal murder: Delhi HC asks Sentence Review Board to take up Manu Sharma's plea in next meeting

The Sentence Review Board is slated to meet in March 2019.

Jessica Lal murder: Delhi HC asks Sentence Review Board to take up Manu Sharma's plea in next meeting
File Photo

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Monday disposed off the petition by Jessica Lal murder case convict Manu Sharma for an early release, even as it asked the Sentence Review Board (SRB) to consider the matter "in its entirety" in its next meeting, which is slated to be held in March 2019.

In his judgement, Justice Najmi Waziri took note of the claims of the petitioner that he had shown good conduct in jail and there had been favourable reports from the police (local and home-town), chief probation officer, victim’s family and the jail authorities.

The court of Justice Nazmi Waziri directed the state to reconsider his case in the next meeting of the Sentence Review Board (SRB) in view of the above reports.

The high court, while hearing the case, went into the guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for premature release and also the parameters and rules formed by the state government (vide SRB order 16.07.2004) for premature release in Delhi.

During the hearing, Manu Sharma's counsel alleged that there had been disparity and arbitrariness done by the SRB, which ordered the release of convicts in double murder and terrorism-related cases while denying his client the recommendation.

Sharma, son of former Union minister Vinod Sharma, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the high court in December 2006 for killing Jessica Lal in 1999.

The trial court had acquitted him, but the Delhi High Court had reversed the order and the Supreme Court had upheld his life sentence in April 2010.

Lal was shot dead by Manu Sharma after she had refused to serve him liquor at the Tamarind Court restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani at Qutub Colonnade in south Delhi's Mehrauli area on the night of April 30, 1999.