27 November, 2020

Afterlife Of A Case

Even Jethmalani couldn't help Manu pull off the farce he did in the trial court

Afterlife Of A Case
When the two-judge bench of the Delhi high court comprising Justice R.S. Sodhi and Justice P.K. Bhasin held Manu Sharma guilty of killing model Jessica Lall at an upscale Delhi restaurant seven years ago, it was adjudicating in a case that had grabbed both public and media attention like no other in recent times. Life imprisonment for Manu and four years in jail for his friends Vikas Yadav (politician D.P. Yadav's son) and Amardeep Singh Gill, held guilty of collusion and destruction of evidence, seemed in order. Manu, however, persisted till the very last in his manoeuvres to escape conviction.

Lawyers in the high court in fact share this little story about his last-ditch effort to get some relief from court. Apparently when Manu hired top criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani to defend him, he thought he had effected a tactical coup. Justice Sodhi, who headed the division bench, was Jethmalani's junior when he practised as a lawyer in Delhi. Manu, son of Haryana Congressman Venod Sharma, considered it a master stroke when his defence team...


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