The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the AAP government to decide in three days the parole plea of Manu Sharma, undergoing life term for killing model Jessica Lall in 1999. “The government of National Capital Territory of Delhi is directed to dispose of the application/representation of the petitioner (Sharma) within three days from the date of receipt of this order,” Justice Pratibha Rani said.
The court said the order passed by the government should be communicated immediately to the petitioner and his counsel through the jail superintendent. The direction came on plea by Sharma, who sought three months’ parole to enable him appear for LLB second semester exams from December 31, attend his Personal Contact Programme and re-establish social ties.
Advocate Amit Sahni, appearing for Sharma, said three month was required as the convict has to appear before the Registrar in Chandigarh on 19 January next year for registration of his marriage. Sahni said the government has not yet taken any decision on the application since October this year.
Additional Standing Counsel Sanjay Lao, appearing for the government, then said the application filed by the petitioner seeking parole shall be disposed of expeditiously. The court noted that the parole application was sent to the competent authority only on 7 December, which has not yet been decided.
The convict, who has been given parole six times since September 2009, has completed a post-graduate diploma in Human Rights and is now pursuing a Bachelor’s in Law course from Annamalai University, Chennai.
Sharma, son of former Union Minister Venod Sharma, was awarded life imprisonment by the high court in December 2006 for killing Jessica Lall in 1999. The trial court had acquitted him, but the Delhi High Court had reversed it and the Supreme Court had upheld the life sentence in April 2010.
Lall was shot dead by Sharma after she had refused to serve him liquor at the Tamarind Court restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani at Qutub Colonnade in South Delhi’s Mehrauli on the night of 30 April, 1999.
(With inputs from PTI)