Manu Sharma convicted for Jessica murder
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Overturning a trial court order which had let off the accused in the Jessica Lall murder case, Delhi High Court today convicted Manu Sharma, son of former Haryana Minister Venod Sharma, for the model's murder seven years ago. Vikas Yadav, also an accused in the Nitish Katara murder case, and Amardeep Singh Gill alias Tony, an executive in a multinational firm, were convicted for conspiracy and destruction of evidence.
The HC bench of Justices R S Sodhi and P K Bhasin criticised the trial court's assessment of evidence as "immature and self-contradictory". Jessica Lall was shot dead on April 29/30, 1999 at Tamarind Court in South Delhi.
The court will hear on Wednesday arguments on the quantum of sentence.
Reacting to the verdict, Jessica's sister Sabrina said: "It's a vindication for all of us... It is a very emotional day for me." She lost both her parents during the course of the family's fight for justice.
Wrapping up the appeal in 25 hearings, the HC bench, which had handed death sentence to Santosh Kumar Singh in the Priyadarshini Mattoo case, said: "We have no hesitation in holding Manu Sharma guilty under Section 302 IPC for the murder of Lall as also under Section 27 Arms Act and Section 201/120."
"In the totality of the circumstances adduced from material on record, the judgment under challenge appears to us to be an immature assessment of material on record which is self-contradictory, based on misreading of material and unsustainable."
The court directed that all three convicted be taken into custody straight away. Manu Sharma, who was not present in the court, later surrendered and was taken to Tihar Jail. Tony Gill, who was there, was immediately taken into custody. Vikas Yadav is already in jail as he's facing trial in the Nitish Katara murder case.
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