Almost 20 years after model Jessica Lall was gunned down in a restaurant here, her sister Sabrina, who fought a lengthy legal battle for justice, has said she has moved on and has no objection to the killer being released from jail.
Sidhartha Vahishta, better known as Manu Sharma, is serving a life term in Tihar Jail here for the 1999 murder.
Lall said she had received a letter from the jail authorities regarding a victim compensation fund and Sharma’s release last month.
“I replied to that letter and said I had no objection to his release. It’s not so much about forgiveness but it’s about letting go of a burden, something from which I have moved on. For me, it’s about taking a load off me,” she told PTI.
In her reply to the letter sent by the jail authorities, Lall pointed out that Sharma had been helping inmates during the 15 years he had spent in prison.
I would like to state I have no objection to his release, owing to the fact that he has spent 15 years in jail,” she wrote.
Lall pointed out that he had also worked for charity.
I am told that in this period he has been doing good work for charity and helping inmates in jail which I feel is a reflection of reform,” her letter said.
Sharma, son of former Union Minister Venod Sharma, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the high court in December 2006 for killing Lall in 1999. The trial court had acquitted him, but the Delhi high court reversed the verdict and the Supreme Court upheld the life sentence in April 2010.
Jessica Lall, who was tending a bar at the Tamarind Court restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani at the Qutub Colonnade in South Delhi’s Mehrauli area on 30 April 1999, was gunned down by Sharma after she refused to serve him alcohol.