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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Jessica Lall, Naina Sahni murder convicts set to stay in jail

Manu Sharma, convicted in the murder of model Jessica Lall, and former Congress leader Sushil Sharma, in jail for the murder of his wife Naina Sahni, are not among 25 prisoners who are set to be released.

delhi Updated: Jul 28, 2018 09:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Manu Sharma, main accused in Jessica Lall murder case, at Patiala House Court.
Manu Sharma, main accused in Jessica Lall murder case, at Patiala House Court.(HT File Photo)

The Delhi sentence review board on Thursday agreed to release 25 prisoners, who have either completed their prison term or were up for early release owing to their ‘good conduct’ in prison. The cases will now be sent to the L-G for his final approval.

The board, however, deferred the cases of Manu Sharma, convicted for the murder of model Jessica Lall, and former Congress leader Sushil Sharma.

Sushil Sharma was convicted for the murder of his wife Naina Sahni in what became to be infamously known as the Delhi Tandoor murder case. Manu Sharma is in prison for over 15 years while Sushil Sharma has been in jail for 23 years.

An official present in Thursday’s meeting, who did not wish to be named, said, “All the seven department representatives present in the meeting agreed that Manu Sharma and Sushil Sharma can be released but home minister Satyendar Jain said he wanted to study their case papers again and then make a decision next month. Hence, their cases were not decided.”

Jain was not available for comment despite repeated calls and text messages.

Senior government officials said that of the 25 prisoners who are likely to be released, five are elderly, one terminally ill and another is physically disabled. Most of these prisoners are those who are lodged in the prison’s semi-open jail facility. The decision of the board will soon be sent to the Delhi’s lieutenant governor, who can either approve or deny the board’s decision.

Manu Sharma and Sushil Sharma have reportedly displayed good conduct in prison because of which they have been shifted to the open and the semi-open jail complex. Open-jail inmates are allowed to step out of prison gates and work outside every day but they have to spend their nights inside the jail complex. Those lodged in the semi-open jail, on the other hand, cannot step outside the prison and are assigned work within the prison complex, such as desk jobs in jail offices. Open and semi-open jail prisoners live in single room flats, unlike other prisoners who live behind bars in cells and barracks.

The release of 25 prisoners was decided by state home minister Jain, additional secretary(home) director general (prisons) Ajay Kashyap, the government’s chief probation officer, a district judge, the joint commissioner of police(crime) and law secretary.

First Published: Jul 28, 2018 08:08 IST

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