The Supreme Court on Tuesday commenced the hearing on an appeal filed by Manu Sharma challenging his conviction and life sentence in Jessica Lall murder case with his counsel alleging the Delhi High Court Bench had made up its mind to hold him guilty.
Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Sharma, said the High Court Bench headed by Justice RS Sodhi (since retired) had declined his plea to recuse itself from hearing the appeal against his acquittal after media started negative publicity and linking him with the judge.
Narrating the sequence of events for which he wanted the Bench of Justice Sodhi to recuse itself from hearing the matter, he alleged that from everyday hearing it was clear that the HC Bench was going to reverse the decision of the trial court acquitting Sharma.
"Justice Sodhi and his Bench had made up its mind that he (Sharma) has to go (to jail). From everyday hearing, it was clear that he (Justice Sodhi) had made up his mind," he told an apex court Bench comprising Justices P Sathasivam and Swatanter Kumar.
The prosecution had alleged Lall was shot dead by Manu Sharma at the Tamarind Court Cafe restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani at Qutub Colonade in South Delhi on the intervening night of April 29-30, 1999, where she had hosted a party for her Canadian husband George Mailhot who was leaving the country.