SENIOR LAWYER Ram Jethmalani on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that Jessica Lall was shot dead because she had "challenged the manhood" of her killer by declining to "satiate his desire". And not because she had refused to serve him drinks.
On Wednesday, Jethmalani had told the court that the model was shot dead by a "tall Sikh gentleman" and not by his client Manu Sharma.
Jethmalani told a division bench of justices R.S. Sodhi and P.K. Bhasin: "We have been hearing about the liquor angle and our mind is conditioned to it. I tell you that she was murdered not for something (liquor) which she did not have but for something she had."
To a question from Justice Sodhi on whether he was building up an argument that Jessica was doing things other than serving liquor, Jethmalani said: "Maybe. If he (the killer) merely wanted a drink, it was available at hundred places in the city."
Jethmalani said "other kinds of activities" were going on at Tamarind Court, where Jessica was killed on April 29, 1999.
This is the first time the defence has questioned Jessica's character. Jessica's sister Sabrina Lall could not be contacted for her comments.