Jessica case: HC defers perjury proceedings
The Delhi High Court accepts the plea of hostile witnesses in the Jessica Lall murder case to defer the perjury proceedings against them, reports Harish V Nair.
The Delhi High Court on Friday accepted the plea of hostile witnesses in the Jessica Lall murder case, including actor Shayan Munshi, to defer the perjury proceedings against them till the Supreme Court pronounces the verdict in the appeal filed by convict Manu Sharma.
A Bench of Justices R.S. Sodhi and P.K. Bhasin, after ascertaining the views of Delhi police counsel Mukta Gupta, said they would hear the matter pertaining to the 22 witnesses only after the apex court gives its final verdict. “As there has not been a final decision, the proceedings should be deferred till the final disposal of the appeal by the Supreme Court,” Munshi and other witnesses had requested to the court.
They questioned how they could be held guilty of “deliberately deposing falsely” in the trial court if the apex court acquits the accused after perusing their statements. On April 27, an angry Justice Sodhi had shot back: “If the Supreme Court sets Manu Sharma free, you are all safe. If he is convicted we will send you where you should belong. Are you agreeable to that?”
Munshi, an eyewitness to Lall’s killing, and others maintain the police had changed their statement. Before commencing perjury proceedings, the court on February 19 thought it fit to ascertain the views of the Delhi Police, which stood firm on their stand that statements of all the witnesses were recorded correctly and but they retracted in the trial court after being influenced by the accused.