//Jessica case: HC seeks explanation

Jessica case: HC seeks explanation

NEW DELHI: There might be justice for Jessica, after all. In a dramatic turn of events, the Delhi High Court on Friday intervened in the Jessica Lal case on its own, taking note of press reports questioning the investigation and prosecution in the sensational murder case.

A division bench, comprising Justices Vijender Jain and Rekha Sharma, ordered the Delhi Police to furnish all details of the case within four weeks and posted the matter for hearing on April 19. All nine accused — including Manu Sharma, son of Haryana minister Vinod Sharma, and Vikas Yadav, son of don-turned-politician D P Yadav — were let off on Tuesday by sessions judge S L Bhayana. The belated convictions in the Best Bakery case on the same day as this high court intervention raised hopes of a similar retrial that would undo the miscarriage of justice in the Jessica Lal case.

The media have highlighted how material evidence in this case was tampered with or distorted. In fact, virtually every top cop — including police commissioner K K Paul, the then joint commissioner Amod Kanth, who supervised the investigation, the then police commissioner Ajay Raj Sharma — have admitted as much.

The reports have also indicated the possibility of collusion between the accused and the investigators, raising serious doubts on the integrity of the probe and prosecution. Judge Bhayana, however, relied on the material evidence to acquit the accused, overlooking a whole lot of circumstantial evidence.

The high court will re-look into all this, even while the prosecution is ambivalent on appealing against the verdict. This throws up a range of options, including retrial.