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Appeal cites reasons for case review

Delhi Police have filed an appeal before Delhi High Court, constructing a chain of incidents based on material evidence and strong circumstantial evidence.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2006 11:50 IST

TheDelhi Police on Monday filed an appeal in the Jessica Lall murder case before the Delhi High Court, constructing a chain of incidents based on material evidence and strong circumstantial evidence which, they said, the trial court ignored while acquitting Manu Sharma and eight other accused.

The appeal said Additional Sessions Judge SL Bhayana’s order was erroneous as it acquitted the accused without appreciating the evidence in its “proper perspective and in total disregard of the facts”.

“Utter non-application of judicial mind is writ large and is evident from the order of the trial court…. The judgment is manifestly wrong, bad in law and contrary to the facts and evidence on record and based on conjectures and surmises,” said the 276-page appeal. The appeal questioned Bhayana’s order on 92 counts.

The appeal questioned how the judge, on February 21, delivered the judgment running to 179 pages with in two hours of hearing the arguments and seeking a clarification from both sides. Observing that the court had erroneously believed the twoweapons theory, the police cited a Supreme Court ruling in a case (Jaidev v State of Punjab) which said that since the weapon of offence was not recovered from the accused, too much reliance on the CFSL and ballistic re ports was wrong.

The CFSL reports of Delhi and Jaipur said the two empty cartridges sent for examination differed in make, bore and calibre and could have been fired from two different pistols.

The police said the court did not appreciate the facts that the two empty cartridges recovered from the Qutub Colonade’s Tamarind café and from inside Manu’s car were of .22 bore and that it had been proved that the prime accused had purchased such a weapon. Though the judge, going by the version of a gun shop owner, held that Manu had purchased bullets of KF make, the police point out that it was not supported by documentary evidence.

Since he admitted possessing a .22 bore licensed weapon, the onus was on Manu to produce it, the appeal said.

First Published: Mar 18, 2006 19:06 IST