As A jubilant Delhi Police commissioner, KK Paul patted his men for a job done well, he reserved special praise for Prabhakar, DCP, Economic Offences Wing. Prabhakar and his team had drafted the appeal in the Jessica Lall case. The court’s conviction of Manu Sharma and two others on Monday was based on this. "It was a great job. The appeal was very good. A lot of effort went into it," Paul said after the judgment.
"The entire prosecution team worked very hard. Every bit of information, whatever was anticipated, was provided for. There were so many queries and questions but all the information was made readily available," Paul said.
The Delhi police had filed an appeal against the acquittals on March 13 in the Delhi High Court. The appeal covered 92 grounds. “The police team had worked day and night to prepare the appeal after the commissioner announced we would go in for appeal. It involved scrutiny of judicial files and records, re-marshalling evidence and its presentation,” a senior police officer said.
The grounds, a senior police officer said, even existed when the matter was under trial in the lower court. “However, what made the difference this time was its presentation,” he said.
The appeal stated that the trial court judge had not applied his judicial mind. “The trial court judge relied too much on material evidence and turning hostile of three key witnesses overlooking a lot of circumstancial evidence. The court failed to appreciate the malafide conduct of Manu Sharma as he remained absconding from his house for a long period after the incident,” it said.
Another ground, which proved to a key point for conviction, was that too much was read into the two-weapon theory floated by the defence.
“The court did not appreciate that the two empty cartridges recovered from the Qutub Colonade’s Tamarind café and from Manu’s car were of .22 bore and it had been proved that the prime accused had purchased such a weapon,” the appeal said. Further it said the trial judge failed to appreciate that immediately after the incident, and for a week later, a spate for calls were exchanged between Manu Sharma’s house and Vikas Yadav’s Ghaziabad home.