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Jessica case: Shayan Munshi is a liar, says HC

The Bench praises key witness Bina Ramani for her courage to chase the culprit.

india Updated: Dec 19, 2006 18:22 IST

A key witness in the sensational Jessica Lall murder case, actor-model Shayan Munshi has come in for scathing criticism by the Delhi High Court which dubbed him a "liar" who took a "somersault" in the court.

In a 61-page judgement on Monday in which they convicted Manu Sharma, son of senior congress leader, of murdering model Jessica some seven years ago, Justice RS Sodhi and Justice PK Bhasin said there was no doubt that Munshi had been won over by the accused.

The Bench was also strongly critical of SL Bhayana, who as additional sessions judge (ASJ) had acquitted the accused and whose verdict was overturned by it.

The judgement says that the ASJ, who has since been elevated as a judge of the High Court, had relied upon an eye witness Deepak Bhojwani to show the presence of the accused at the murder spot and yet, had held him as a "bad witness".

"Obviously, this reflects total lack of application of mind and suggests a hasty approach towards securing a particular end, namely the acquittal," the Bench said. Observing that the criticism of the trial court to the deposition of Bhojwani appears to be "self contradictory", the Bench said "with very great respect to the learned judge, we point out that this manner of testing the credibility of the witness is hardly a rule of appreciation of evidence."

The Bench which praised key witness Bina Ramani for her courage to chase the culprit while other socialites present in the party at Tamarind Court did not muster courage to raise a little finger to apprehend Manu, made some scathing remarks against Munshi who deviated from his earlier statement during the trial and was declared hostile.

"...In court he has taken a somersault and came out with a version that there were two gentlemen at the bar counter...," the Bench said.

First Published: Dec 19, 2006 18:22 IST