The Lieutenant governor of Delhi on Tuesday allowed the early release of Manu Sharma, the son of former Congress leader Venod Sharma, who was convicted for the murder of Jessica Lal.
On May 12th, the Delhi Sentence Review Board recommended an early release of Sharma. The premature release of Sharma was reviewed several times in 2017 which was then rejected by the Sentence Review Board stating that he has been given a life sentence for a heinous crime. When on parole, Sharma was accused of violating the parole rules.
Sharma was granted parole due to his mother’s ill health. However, he was seen at a bar in New Delhi and reportedly got involved in a brawl. As per the police, he left the bar before the police arrived in the bar. However, his lawyer Amit Sahni denied his involvement in a brawl.
In the last 16 years of his imprisonment, Sharma has been granted parole at least 10 times and was later shifted to an open jail in 2017. Since then, he goes in and out of Tihar Jail to work in his office located in South Delhi.
Early release on the grounds of good behavior
For an inmate to be granted an early release, he has to satisfy three criteria according to the Delhi government. The first one is good conduct. The second thing is that the inmate needs a police report which is in favor of his release and lastly a social investigation report which speaks of the chances of his rehabilitation.
Manu Sharma was convicted of murdering Jessica Lal, a model, on 30th April 1999. Jessica was shot in the head by Sharma at a party that had dozens of witnesses. Seven years later i.e. in 2006, nine of the twelve accused were acquitted by the trial court including Manu Sharma. The court observed that the police had lacked evidence to back up the case. Massive protests followed against the judiciary and the bureaucracy. The police later appealed against the verdict in the High Court.
On 15th December 2006, the High Court ruled that Sharma was guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The lawyers of Manu Sharma appealed in the Supreme Court which upheld the verdict of the High Court.