The Jessica Lal case convict, Siddhartha Vashishta alias Manu Sharma has moved the Delhi High Court seeking premature release from prison.
The move was made in the wake of an order passed by the Delhi High Court on December 21, 2018, wherein it had ordered the forthwith release of former Youth Congress leader Sushil Kumar Sharma, who had served over 23 years in prison for the murder of his wife Naina Sahni in 1995. The Delhi High Court ordered Sushil Sharma's premature release after quashing the recommendations of the Sentence Review Board (SRB), which had rejected his plea to be set free after over two decades of incarceration.
Manu Sharma, in his plea filed through advocate Amit Sahni, alleging that SRB "acted in a biased, unfair and illegal manner" while rejecting his plea for premature release has sought setting aside of the SRB recommendation, as well as the December 7, 2018, order of the Delhi government, upholding the board's view. In his plea, Manu Sharma has said that he has served 15 years in jail without remission and over 20 years with remission and therefore, he is eligible for grant of premature release. Manu Sharma, son of former Haryana minister Venod Sharma, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Delhi High Court in December 2006, for killing Jessica Lal. The trial court had acquitted him, but the Delhi High Court had reversed the order and the Supreme Court had upheld his life sentence in April 2010. Jessica Lal was shot dead by Manu 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 area on April 30, 1999.