Soon after the Delhi High Court on Monday convicted Manu Sharma for the 1999 murder of slain model Jessica Lall, it was celebration time for friends and police officers, happy and contented with the verdict.
Manu Sharma is the son of Venod Sharma, a senior Congress leader and former member of the Haryana government. Vikas Yadav, son of politician DP Yadav and key accused in the murder of a bureaucrat's son Nitish Katara, was also held guilty of helping Manu Sharma to destroy evidence. Amanjeet Singh Gill, a corporate executive, too was found guilty.
"It has been a long fight but the end result is amazing. It is a vindication of all of us. It is a great day for our family," said Sabrina Lall, sister of Jessica Lall.
She said she had been hoping for the best and the past few days were one of extreme emotion.
"I think that this decision is reassuring and this verdict will help people to regain faith in the judicial system and the police," said Neelam Katara, mother of Nitish Katara who was allegedly killed by Vikas Yadav.
"I am jubilant at the verdict though it is a delayed one. I am happy justice was only delayed and not denied to the family members," she added.
"There is a feeling of hope and relief for me, and I am sure that judiciary will also give justice to me.
"Since I have gone through the same pain that Jessica's family members have been through, I can understand how they must be feeling. I am very happy for them."
Similar was the reaction of Mala, a friend of Jessica Lall who said: "We are very happy. The quantum of punishment given to Manu Sharma is immaterial; we only wanted that people should know who the real culprit was. I am delighted that my friend finally got justice."
Delhi Police officers who carried out the investigation were equally happy.
"I think I am the happiest person today because it was the investigation of my team that has led to this conviction. Many people had pointed fingers at my team and me but we were sure there was no fault in the investigation and there was strong evidence," said Amod Kanth, a director general of Arunachal Pradesh Police who was a joint commissioner in Delhi Police when Jessica was killed.
"There is a sigh of relief for me. I have stood by my team and I still maintain that the investigation was perfect. The justice was delayed by the court but the same evidence played a vital role in this verdict," said Kanth, now in Delhi.