Sabrina Lall, sister of Jessica Lall who was shot dead in April 1999, said she was happy that the “final door has been closed” for Manu Sharma as the Supreme Court Monday upheld his life sentence for the murder.
“After 11 years…I am glad that the final door has been closed on this (case). It has given us a lot of relief and satisfaction that the Supreme Court has upheld the verdict of the high court. I am happy,” Sabrina told reporters after the verdict was pronounced.
A bench of Justices P. Sathasivam and Swatanter Kumar upheld the Delhi High Court judgement, which convicted Sharma who is serving a life sentence in Tihar jail. Manu Sharma is the son of Congress leader Venod Sharma.
Manu Sharma had challenged his conviction and life sentence given by the Delhi High Court in December 2006.
While visiting the restaurant of socialite Bina Ramani in New Delhi with some of his friends, Sharma had opened fire on Jessica Lall following a tiff over his demand for a drink when the establishment was to close for the day.
Sabrina, who has been fighting for justice for Jessica, heralded the apex court’s decision as the triumph of a middle-class family.
“When the accused were acquitted by the lower court, that was a time that I had lost hope…In these cases where high profile and powerful people are involved, the important message is that it is not (an) impossible fight. If society works together and we continue to fight and don’t lose hope, it is not impossible to get the conviction…There is justice in the world and it’s possible not only for me but for all those families fighting for it.
“In this case, middle-class people came out together in peaceful support. They created a movement for justice for Jessica. There are people I don’t even recognise who came out in open support,” Sabrina said.
Sabrina also criticised those witnesses who turned hostile and said that they should be punished.
“On a day like this I would like to remember positive things and look forward and not into the past. But as far as (actor) Shayan Munishi goes — his role was terrible. Being the complainant in the case, he messed up the case… He was an educated affluent boy who shouldn’t have succumbed…
“Punishment (to hostile witness) should work as a deterrent in society. They will keep lying unless somebody is held accountable for the same,” she added.