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Jessica’s killer Manu Sharma gets parole to take human rights exam

Sharma has been granted parole to appear in post-graduate exams in Human Rights. Justice Hima Kohli granted parole to Sharma from 28 December, 2013 to 5 January, 2014, after the police filed a status report informing about Sharma’s examination which will start from 30 December. Justice Kohli, however, made it clear that Sharma will appear at the examination centre in Delhi and not in Chandigarh. The court also directed Tihar authorities to do the needful to get the examination centre shifted.

Sharma had moved the high court seeking a month’s parole to prepare for and appear in his second semester PG exams, saying 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’.

Sharma’s counsel told the court that jail authorities have given many certificates to his client acknowledging his good conduct. He further said that Sharma has not breached any condition laid down by the court earlier and added that this time also whatever condition the court will impose, he will abide by.

Earlier, Sharma’s parole in 2009 had created a huge controversy and he had to return to Tihar 12 days before the expiry of his parole. Sharma was charged with violating the conditions of his temporary release. Also under the scanner was the way in which rules were flouted to get him out of jail.

He was granted a two-month parole on the grounds that he needed to attend to his ageing mother in Chandigarh and his family business. However, police officials later confirmed that all his reasons were found to be false. Sharma was spotted at a local nightclub in the national capital along with a friend who reportedly entered into a scuffle with the other visitors. The incident had raised many eyebrows and questions were raised over what Sharma was doing in Delhi if he was granted parole to visit his mother in Chandigarh.

Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government’s decision to grant parole to Sharma had come under intense criticism, forcing her to seek a report from the Delhi police on the violation of parole norms. It also emerged later that Delhi police had said a categorical ‘no’ to granting parole to Sharma. However, Chandigarh police and Tihar Jail authorities supported Manu Sharma’s appeal.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party had alleged that Sharma was granted parole under ‘political pressure’.

Sharma, son of former union minister Venod Sharma, was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing Jessica Lal in 1999. Lal was shot by Sharma after she refused to serve him liquor at the Tamarind Court restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani at Qutub Colonnade in south Delhi’s Mehrauli. The trial court had acquitted Sharma. However, the high court had reversed the order of the trial court and had awarded life sentence to him in December 2006 in the murder case.

The case had witnessed a number of twists and turns. After the huge uproar across the country post Sharma’s acquittal, the case was reopened and the high court convicted him along with several others. Later, the Supreme Court had upheld the high court order against him in April 2010.
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