Jessica Lal case: Manu Sharma’s wife seeks his early release on grounds of ‘good conduct’
The wife of Manu Sharma, convicted of murder of model Jessica Lal in 1999, has appealed to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that he should be released early due to his ‘good conduct’ all these years in Tihar jail.
Manu Sharma alias Siddharth Vashishta, son of former union minister Venod Sharma, is serving life imprisonment for Lal’s murder in South Delhi in April 1999. He had pulled out a gun and shot Lal, who was tending an unlicensed bar at a private party, after she refused to serve him a drink well past midnight.
Sharma, 42, was convicted in December 2006 and sentenced to life imprisonment. He has spent at least 15 years in prison since the day he was arrested by Delhi police for the murder.
Sharma’s wife Preety Sharma wrote to the rights body on Wednesday claiming that her husband is eligible for early release under prison rules and also because of his good conduct behind bars all these years.
After the seven-member Sentence Review Board (SRB) rejected Sharma’s plea for early release in July, his advocate Amit Sahni had said that they would seek legal recourse because Sharma was eligible for release. Sahni had said that his client fulfilled all parameters for release such as the minimum time served of 14 years, clean record in prison, and positive report by police and jail authorities among others.
In December, Sharma had approached the Delhi High Court after the SRB rejected his plea in October last year. The High Court had in January 2019 directed the SRB to consider Sharma’s release in the next hearing (July 2019).
Sharma had gone to the High Court a month after it ordered the release of former Delhi Youth Congress leader Sushil Sharma, convicted of his wife Naina Sahni’s murder in the Tandoor murder case. Sushil, who spent over 23 years in prison, had approached the high court when the board rejected his plea.