Murder of Jessica Lall

Murder Of Jessica Lall

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Murder of Jessica Lall

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Jessica Lall (1965–1999) was a model in New Delhi, who was working as a celebrity barmaid at a crowded socialite party when she was shot dead on 29 April 1999. BBC News, Delhi, 9 March 2006. Dozens of witnesses pointed to Siddharth Vashisht, a.k.a. Manu Sharma, the son of Venod Sharma, a wealthy Congress politician in Haryana, as the murderer.

In the ensuing trial, Manu Sharma and a number of others were acquitted on 21 February 2006.

Following intense media and public pressure, the prosecution appealed and the Delhi High Court conducted proceedings on a fast track with daily hearings over 25 days. The lower court judgment was found faulty in law, and Manu Sharma was found guilty of having murdered Jessica Lall. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on 20 December 2006.

Background



During the summer of 1999, leading socialite Bina Ramani had been organizing “Thursday Special” nights, at her newly opened “Tamarind Court” restaurant, at Qutub Colonnade, a refurbished haveli overlooking the Qutub Minar in Mehrauli.

On 29 April 1999, it was the seventh and last Thursday Special of the season; also being celebrated was the foreign visit of Bina Ramani’s Canadian husband Georges Mailhot, for a period of six months. Though the restaurant was yet to receive its liquor license, drinks could be bought through discreetly marked ‘QC’ coupons, and on that night, several models and friends were...
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