Jessica Lal murder: Manu Sharma gets parole

New Delhi, Dec 18: The Delhi High Court Wednesday granted nine days’ parole to Jessica Lal murder convict Manu Sharma, so he could sit for post-graduation examinations in human rights.

Justice Hima Koli granted parole to Sharma from Dec 28 till Jan 5, 2014 after the police filed a status report about his examinations for a post-graduate degree in human rights, set to commence Dec 30.

Sharma was also directed to submit a personal bond of Rs.30,000 and surety of like amount. The court asked Sharma not to leave Delhi.

The court also made it clear that Sharma will appear in the examination centre in Delhi, not Chandigarh.

Sharma’s counsel told the court that jail authorities have given many certificates to his client, acknowledging his good conduct.

Sharma has taken care of 470 children of convicts by financing their studies and has not breached any condition laid down by the court earlier, his counsel said.

Manu Sharma, 36, who is serving a life sentence here for killing ramp model Jessica Lal in 1999, moved the high court seeking parole to prepare and take his second semester examinations for a post-graduate degree in human rights from Dec 30 onwards.

He also added that he has to “prepare master thesis, field report, study report, case study report and select a guide, as required for completion of the post-graduation course”.

On Nov 27, 2013, the Tihar Jail superintendent forwarded his application for grant of parole to the government but no order was passed. Sharma then moved the high court.

Parole is temporary release of a convict from prison before the end of his sentence, subject to certain conditions.

Manu Sharma was awarded life imprisonment by the high court December 2006 for the murder of Jessica Lal. The life term was upheld by the Supreme Court.

The 34-year-old Jessica Lal, who was working as a celebrity waitress, was shot dead April 29, 1999, by Manu Sharma at the Tamarind Court restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani at Qutub Colonnade in south Delhi’s Mehrauli area after she refused to serve him drinks.