Jessica Lal murder: Convict moves HC for premature release

Siddhartha Vashishta, also known as Manu Sharma, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of model Jessica Lal in 1999, has moved the high court.

Published: 21st January 2019 07:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2019 08:48 AM   |  A+A-

Manu Sharma, the main accused in the Jessica Lal murder case being escorted to Delhi court by police. (File|EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Siddhartha Vashishta, also known as Manu Sharma (43), who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of model Jessica Lal in 1999, has moved the Delhi High Court seeking premature release from prison.

The move comes a month after the High Court ordered the release of former Youth Congress leader Sushil Kumar Sharma, who had been in prison for more than 23 years for the murder of his wife Naina Sahni in 1995.

On December 21 last year, the high court had ordered Sharma’s premature release after quashing the recommendations of the Sentence Review Board (SRB), which had rejected his plea to be set free.

In his petition, Sharma, requested that the SRB recommendation of October 4, 2018 rejecting his plea, and the Delhi government’s order of December 7, 2018 upholding the board’s view be set aside.

The convict has contended that reports from several authorities, including the prison, police and social welfare department of the Delhi government, have recommended his early release from prison.

According to Manu Sharma’s petition, he has served 15 years in jail without remission, and more than 20 years with remission and therefore, he is eligible for grant of premature release.

Remission is part of a sentence, which is granted to an accused after assessing his behaviour and conduct during his stay in jail and the period of interim bail or parole or furlough. A remission is added to the sentence undergone by a prisoner in jail.

The petition also contends that the high court had, in a PIL on August 3 last year, directed the SRB to strictly act according to its July 16, 2004 order, which had laid down the eligibility criteria for the premature release of a prisoner.

Manu Sharma has claimed that he satisfied the eligibility conditions.

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