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Appeal will target seniors too

After registering an FIR against their own men in the Jessica Lall murder case, the Delhi Police are preparing to go after them in court.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2006 01:56 IST

After registering an FIR against their own men in the Jessica Lall murder case, the Delhi Police are preparing to go after them in court. The tone and tenor of the police's appeal in the case will be similar to the case registered at Mehrauli police station on Monday with regard to the destruction and tampering of evidence.

M.K. Sharma, former director of prosecution who retired on February 28 but has been closely associated with drafting the appeal, says one of the main basis of the appeal will be the fact that evidence was manipulated, which ultimately helped in the acquittal of the nine accused.

"We'll request the court that since it has come to light that the cartridges were tampered with — resulting in the two-weapons theory — it (the theory) should not be taken on record," he says.

Sharma says the police's contention will be that if "certain police officers have connived with the accused and done something wrong, the benefit should not go to the accused". The police will also incorporate in their appeal the fact that ample evidence about the manipulation has come on record.

"Since the prosecution theory is that Manu Sharma shot Jessica with his .22 bore licensed pistol, the onus is now on Manu to produce the weapon," says Sharma. Sources say that since Manu hasn't been able to produce the weapon, the presumption is that he destroyed it.

The appeal will also concentrate on the fact that all the prime witnesses turned hostile. "Shyan Munshi, on whose statement the FIR was registered, later said he did not understand Hindi," says Sharma. "Our plea will be that the witness belongs to a well-educated and well-off family and that he knew Hindi very well. Cassettes of his TV interviews in Hindi and the fact that he acted in Hindi movies will be put before the court."

The appeal will heavily rely on circumstantial evidence. "Manu's presence at the party is not disputed," says Sharma. "He went absconding after the incident. This and other facts will be highlighted."

First Published: Mar 08, 2006 01:56 IST