Justice was finally meted to the Lall family on Monday afternoon with the conviction of Manu Sharma for murdering Jessica Lall seven years back. Jessica’s sister, Sabrina, who played a crucial role keeping the issue alive in court, however, chose to wait for the verdict in peace, away from the din of the courtroom. Close friends gave her company.
Representing the Lalls in the court were Welsa, Jessica’s elder sister, and a family friend, Nalini. Within seconds of the verdict being pronounced, Nalini sent a one-word SMS to Sabrina saying: “Done”. “I could not believe it. Then I got the next SMS saying convicted. I was shivering. I shouted and threw my mobile. The message relieved me of the years of suffering that I and my family underwent after Jessica’s murder,” said Sabrina.
Sabrina said she could not muster the courage to be present in court when the verdict was announced only fearing that “Manu Sharma may be acquitted again”. “I was not too sure about how I would react if that happened,” said Sabrina.
Soon after the verdict, Sabrina rushed to the Humayun Road cemetery with her elder sister Welsa, to spend some time at Jessica’s grave. But the battle is far from over. Sabrina said the police officers’ role in manipulating the facts of the case was yet to come out. “The police was in collusion with the accused. They should be held responsible,” Sabrina said.
On veteran lawyer Ram Jethmalani’s decision to defend Manu, Sabrina said she felt the media paid undue attention to the fact. “I was not scared of Jethmalani. Media gave unnecessary attention to what he said in court. He did not impress me,” said Sabrina.
The Lalls reached their Gurgaon residence at 5.30 pm where a small group of friends and supporters waited with a bottle of champagne to celebrate the victory. “May be I can sleep well tonight,” said a visibly relieved Sabrina. Thanking the media and civil society at large for taking up Jessica’s cause,
she said she had lost hope after the earlier acquittal. “Thanks to the media and the public outcry, we got back into the case.”
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