Sting Opration Jessica case by Tehelka and Star TV
Sharma given life sentence by The Delhi HC.
HC refuses to stay look-out
notices in Jessica case
Mr Justice Vikramjit Sen, while hearing the petition of socialite Bina Ramani, in whose restaurant Jessica was shot dead seven years ago allegedly by Manu Sharma, directed the police to submit their reply by April 5 to her petition.
Ramani, who was a key witness in the case, had filed an application challenging the “look out” notice, which was aimed at securing the presence of any witness for questioning in view of a fresh FIR lodged by the police in connection with destruction of evidence. The Court said that Ramani’s plea could not be allowed at this stage keeping in view the fact that the allegations of “tampering” with evidence by some persons to “save the accused” was as serious matter and police was probing it.
The Court also was of the view that such a plea of a foreign passport holder could not be allowed. Ramani has a passport issued by a foreign country.
Ramani had also sought permission
to visit Thailand for two weeks from March 25 to attend the marriage of
Talking to mediapersons, the Delhi Police Commissioner, Dr K.K. Paul, said justice would be given to the victim. He said the police would appeal in the Delhi High Court, in a day or two, against the judgement of lower courts in which the accused were acquitted due to lack of evidence.
“We have registered a fresh case against those who have fabricated with the evidence. The case has been registered at the Mehrauli police station and the SHO, Mehrauli, would be investigating officer,” said Dr Paul. He said the case would be probed by a special team under then Special Commissioner (Intelligence), Mr U.C. Katna, and other officers would be appointed soon so that there was no delay in the investigation.
The copy of the judgement was received by the police on March 3 and the police was asked to reply within three days why there were lapses in producing the evidences.
The Commissioner said an analysis of the judgement was undertaken and consultations held with legal experts, including Additional Solicitor-General of India, and the decision was taken to register a case against the “unknown accused” who tempered with the evidence and also to appeal in High Court against the judgement.
The FIR was registered under Sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 201 (destruction of evidence), 218 (fabrication of evidence) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
“There were many lapses in the case that came into knowledge during the media trial and would be taken care of during investigation of the new case registered. A lot of material has come up in the aftermath of the judgement, including in the media, which had created doubts,” Dr Paul said.
“There were certain aspects which would form the basis for going to the higher court. We would wait for the orders of the High Court.”
Model Jessica Lal was shot
dead here seven years back allegedly by Manu Sharma. The police also failed
to try Mr Y.S. Dadwal and Mr Amod Kanth, both senior police officials,
and the then Joint Commissioner of Police as eyewitness in the case.
Police Commissioner denies probe into
Dr Paul refuted media reports that a departmental inquiry had been ordered against the officials who investigated Jessica Lal’s murder.
Except for the transfer of the then Investigating Officer Surendra Sharma, no progress has been made into the high-profile murder case even after days of public outcry all over the country.
Surendra Sharma had been transferred to the Security Cell from his posting as SHO, Hauz Khas. The matter was also raised in the Lok Sabha today by the Opposition members over the acquittal of the accused and the promotion of the Sessions Judge who had held the trial to the Delhi High Court.
Meanwhile, stung by the swarm of criticism over its ‘inept handling’ of the Jessica Lal murder case which led to the acquittal of all the nine accused, Delhi Police has begun spadework for appealing against the judgement.
Announcing this, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ranjit Narayan told mediapersons today that they were studying grounds for filing an appeal against the acquittal of the accused into the high-profile murder case.
“The Delhi Police in consultation with the Directorate of Prosecution is examining the judgement in the Jessica Lal murder case. We are also examining grounds for appeal,” was the terse statement which the Jt Commissioner read from a prepared text.
Only after we have studied the matter carefully any further details on the issue could be told, added Mr Narayan, when asked what the police intended to do henceforth.
The Jt Commissioner also denied that any
inquiry had been ordered into the alleged lop-sided investigation by police
officials into the case.
HC seeks report from Delhi Police
New Delhi, February 24
Taking cognizance of media reports on the trial court judgement, stating how the case was “spoiled” from the very beginning by the officers involved in the investigation, and also highlighting the report of present Commissioner K.K. Paul as the then Joint Commission to his boss Ajay Raj Sharma (Commissioner) on the “shoddy” probe, a Bench of Mr Justice Vijender Jain and Ms Justice Rekha Sharma issued notice to Mr Paul.
Listing next hearing of the matter on April 19, the court directed the Police Commissioner to place on record the status report detailing entire circumstances of the case with full facts within four weeks.
Additional Sessions Judge S.L. Bhayana had on February 21 acquitted Manu Sharma, the son of Haryana minister Venod Sharma, Vikas Yadav, the son of former Rajya Sabha MP D.P. Yadav and seven other co-accused, all friends of the former, in the absence of sufficient evidence.
Almost all witnesses in the case either had turned hostile, or had given inconsistent statements during the cross examination.
The main lacunae in the part of investigating officers was their failure to recover the gun used to shoot down Jessica Lall and alleged “planting of an empty cartridge” to show the forensic report that two bullets were recovered from the scene of crime, fired from two revolvers. This was recorded as a major weakness in the prosecution theory by the trial judge.
Jessica Lall was shot dead in the full view of around 400 persons in a party organised by socialite Bina Ramani in a restaurant, Tamrind Court, in Qutub Colanade, on the night of April 30, 1999.
This is for the second time that the High
Court had taken cognizance of the matter. It had also entertained a PIL
on shoddy probe of the case soon after the incident when it was highlighted
in media, but it closed the proceedings on it at that time after senior
officers of Delhi Police had given a categorical assurance that the investigation
would be done in right earnest.
No one killed Jessica
And yet, seven years and a wobbly prosecution attempt later, all the accused walked away free on Tuesday.
That's the shocking story of the celebrated Jessica Lal murder on the night of April 29, 1999, at the tony Tamarind Court, a restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani that has since the fateful night downed shutters.
It's difficult to tell today which has been more shocking — the ramp model's murder or the sloppy manner in which the alleged killers were sought to be brought to justice.
This was despite the fact
that almost immediately after the killing the police identified the murderer
as Manu Sharma, the son of a former Union minister. It seemed an open-and-shut
case. The police also had eye-witnesses to the killing.
It was apparent that the case against Manu Sharma and his two alleged accomplices — Vikas Yadav, son of Rajya Sabha member D P Yadav and a cola company executive Amardeep Singh Gill — was turning progressively weak.
And on Tuesday, additional sessions judge S L Bhayana rejected the prosecution case, already hobbled by hostile witnesses, citing forensic reports that said the two cartridges allegedly recovered from the spot were from two different weapons.
In short, the prosecution case that Manu Sharma — and he alone — fired the bullets that hit Jessica on her temple, thus killing her, fell on its face. The police version and the forensic evidence didn't tally.
The Jessica Lal murder was no ordinary killing. The dramatis personae in the crime included Manu Sharma alias Sidharth Vashisht, whose father was once a Union minister and is now a Haryana state minister. With him was Vikas Yadav, son of don-turned-politician D P Yadav, who helped Manu flee
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