High Court verdict is not a setback, says defence counsel | india | Hindustan Times
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High Court verdict is not a setback, says defence counsel

india Updated: Dec 20, 2006 02:55 IST

Manu Sharma’S counsel, Pandit RK Naseem has said they would “go for an appeal in the Supreme Court,” after the High Court convicted his client and two others in the Jessica Lall murder case.

For Naseem it was the second case in less than two months where the High Court had overruled the sessions court decision to convict the accused.

In another landmark judgment in October, the High Court had sentenced Santosh Kumar Singh to death on charges of raping and killing Priyadarshani Mattoo. Naseem was the defence counsel in that case as well.

Naseem, however, says the High Court setting aside the order of the trial court in both cases is not a setback for him.

“If Santosh Singh still wants me to argue his cases in the Supreme Court, despite being given death, it is a victory for me,” Naseem said.

Over the years, Naseem has gained an envious reputation within his fraternity. Naseem shot into limelight when a city court acquitted Santosh Singh in the Priyadarshani case. He followed it up with the Jessica Lall case, when the trial court acquitted all the accused on February 21.

“In both cases, the Supreme Court will set aside the conviction. The basic drawback in the Santosh Singh case was that the court did not examine the cross examination of the DNA expert and secondly the post-mortem report had clearly ruled out sexual assault. In the Jessica case, Bina Ramani has clearly stated she had not seen Jessica being shot and had again told the court that it did not satisfy her that Manu was the same man who had shot Jessica. Still the court has said she is an eyewitness,” Naseem argued.

Naseem said he still very much in demand. “I will be going to Rae Bareilly to defend an MLA in a murder case. Though I had refused to take-up the case, the client insisted I defend him,” he said.