With Jessica Lall’s sister Sabrina Lall reportedly writing to Tihar Jail authorities to make it clear that there is “no objection from her side” if her sister’s killer Manu Sharma is granted bail, the former JCP (southern range) Amod Kanth said that she has “no locus standi” in the case, and the “move is a show to paint Manu Sharma in a positive light in the media”.
Sabrina had claimed that she received a letter from Tihar more than a month ago regarding the victim’s welfare fund. “I did not want the money and took two days to decided the same. I wrote to them that I do not want the welfare fund and that if Manu Sharma was given bail, I do not have a problem with it. He has served 15 years in jail and it was his first crime. He destroyed my family… but it is important to forgive and forget,” Sabrina said.
Sabrina said her mother may have forgiven Sharma in 1999 if he had apologised to her. “That is my family background,” she said. She added that she got justice in 2006 when the Supreme Court confirmed the life-term for Manu Sharma, but it took her another 12 years to find closure, after which she chose to forgive him.
However, Kanth, who was at the helm of the investigation, said, “She never assisted us and we wanted her to appear in court but she backed out. Even the entire police hierarchy at the time was not interested in pursuing the case.” Sabrina refuted these claims, saying, “You know talk is cheap. I was the one who fought all these years for my sister. I was an observer in the court. There are those who say I have let down a lot of people but you cannot spend your entire life carrying baggage.”
She said she had learnt that Sharma was helping inmates and doing charity work in jail. When contacted, a senior Tihar official claimed he “did not know about any such rehabilitative work undertaken by the inmate”.
Asked if she would meet Sharma if he is granted bail, she replied, “I do not see myself doing that. But I do not want the sword of Manu Sharma hanging over my neck again.”
Sharma was handed life imprisonment for shooting model Jessica Lall in 1999 for refusing him a drink at a restaurant in Mehrauli.
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