SC refuses to suspend Manu Sharma’s sentence

Keeping in view the gravity of offence in the Jessica Lall murder case, the Supreme Court on Monday declined to suspend prime accused Manu Sharma’s sentence and dismissed his petition seeking release on bail until the court disposes his appeal.
A bench of Justices CK Thakker and DK Jain said: “In view of the serious offence, the manner in which the crime was said to have been committed and the gravity of offence, we are of the view that no case has been made out by Sharma for suspension of the sentence and grant of bail.”
The court further noted that it was not possible to grant bail to Sharma as the Supreme Court had admitted his appeal against the conviction order of the Delhi High Court and the final hearing of the same was likely to come within “measurable distance of time.”
The bench also said initial presumption of innocence was not available to Sharma as he had been held guilty by a higher court.
His good conduct while he was on bail during the trial also did not help Sharma as it failed to impress the judges.
“The mere fact that during the period of trial the accused was on bail and there was no misuse of liberty does not per se warrant suspension of sentence and grant of bail. What really is necessary is whether reasons exist to suspend execution of the sentence and grant of bail,” the court said.
Model Jessica Lall was shot dead on the intervening night of April 29-30, 1999, at the Qutub Colonade restaurant in south Delhi owned by socialite Bina Ramani.
Manu Sharma, son of former Union Minister Venod Sharma, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Delhi High Court, which had set aside the trial court verdict acquitting him in the case.
Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi, May 13, 2008
First Published: 01:42 IST(13/5/2008)
Last Updated: 01:46 IST(13/5/2008)
http://www.hindustantimes.com

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