Ignoring the home department’s suggestion that murder convict Manu Sharma should be let out on parole for only 15 days, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit extended his parole to one month, an Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed.
The RTI also revealed Sharma was granted parole within 22 days of his submitting his application. In normal cases, the government takes three to six months to decide the parole application of a convict.
Serving life imprisonment for the murder of model Jessica Lall, Manu Sharma allegedly violated the parole terms and partied hard during his jail holiday in September 2009.
Son of Haryana Congress leader Venod Sharma, Manu Sharma had applied for parole citing his mother's ailment and neglected business interests.
The RTI reply revealed that home department’s joint secretary G.L. Meena had recommended that Sharma be granted parole for only a fortnight. But just a day later, Dikshit approved a month's parole.
When contacted, Dikshit said, “I did not reduce anything, I did not extend anything. I just signed it (Manu's parole papers),” Dikshit said.
“The Lieutenant Governor also signed it.”
Sharma had approached Delhi government on August 27, 2009 for a three-month parole. In its report on September 10, 2009, Delhi police had said Sharma's personal attention was not required to look after his mother and his business was running without any hindrance.
The notings made available to RTI activist S.C. Agrawal revealed that Meena forwarded the application within a day of receiving the Delhi Police report.
On September 11, Dikshit approved one-month parole and sent the file to the Lieutenant Governor. Based on the recommendations, the Lieutenant Governor approved the parole on September 18, 2009.