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Murder of Jessica Lal

  • Date Submitted: 10/14/2010 09:08 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50.5 
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Murder of Jessica Lall
     
A model earning some extra money by working as a bar tender at a swinging party that was throbbing with people is shot point blank by a person who is refused a drink. Many must have

seen this act of wanton criminality.

That’s the shocking story of the celebrated

Jessica Lal murder on the night of April 29, 1999, at the tony Tamarind Court, a restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani that has since the fateful night downed shutters. It’s difficult to tell today which has been more shocking — the ramp model’s murder or the sloppy manner in which the alleged killers were sought to be brought to justice.

This was despite the fact that almost immediately after the killing the police identified the murderer as Manu Sharma, the son of a former Union minister. It seemed an open-and-shut case. The police also had eye-witnesses to the killing. But when the trial began, the police case turned shaky as key witnesses turned hostile one after

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another, and the few who didn’t became inconsistent with their versions. It was apparent that the case against Manu Sharma and his two alleged accomplices — Vikas Yadav, son of Rajya Sabha member D P Yadav and a cola company executive Amardeep Singh Gill — was turning progressively weak., additional sessions judge S L Bhayana rejected the prosecution

case, already hobbled by hostile witnesses, citing forensic reports that said the two cartridges allegedly recovered from the spot were from two different weapons. In short, the prosecution case that Manu Sharma — and he alone — fired the bullets that hit Jessica on her temple, thus killing her, fell on its face. The police version and the forensic

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evidence didn’t tally.

The Jessica Lal murder was no ordinary killing. The dramatis personae in the crime included Manu Sharma alias Sidharth Vashisht, whose father was once a Union minister and is now a Haryana state minister. With him was Vikas Yadav, son...

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