CNN-IBN, Updated 2026 hrs IST (+GMT 5:30), 25.02.06
New Delhi: All the nine accused in the murder of model Jessica Lall in 1999 have walked free.
However, CNN-IBN has documents that show that the Delhi Police was aware of loopholes in the investigation of the case.
A letter written by then Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) K K Paul to Delhi Police Commisioner Ajai Raj Sharma points to a conspiracy angle.
The letter says, "There has obviously been a conspiracy between the accused and certain officials which is to be investigated."
Paul was not in favour of a change in investigative agencies as it might attract unnecessary media glare.
Maxwell Pareira, Joint Commissioner Delhi Police said, "When an investigation is underway, sharing information with the media or hiring investigative agencies may prove detrimental to the case rather than helpful. That is perhaps why K K Paul wanted to keep the details away from the media."
Jessica was shot dead in an illegal bar in Delhi allegedly by Manu Sharma, son of Haryana former excise minister Vinod Sharma.
Taking suo motu congnisance of the public outrage and media reports on the acquittal of all accused in the Jessica Lall murder case, the Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Delhi Police Commissioner.
A division bench of Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Rekha Sharma asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to file a reply to the newspaper reports that the police failed to submit concrete evidence before the trial court during the proceedings of the case.
Jessica’s sister Sabrina Lall said, "The fact that the HC has issued a directive to the police has given me a glimmer of hope. It’s a shame on the entire system."
"I want to know why everything is coming out now, seven years later and more importantly after the verdict has been delivered. Why was this not done in 2001 when the case was being investigated?" she added.
One of the reasons why the case fell flat in court was the forensic report.
While the prosecution maintained that Manu Sharma fired at Jessica twice from his gun, the lab report said the shots were fired by two weapons.
The then joint commissioner of police Delhi Amod Kanth said there was definitely a manipulation at work here.
"We sent the cartridges to the Forensic lab, now a question has come up as to why they were sent to the lab, I think it was quoted from the commissioner. We had to sent the cartridges to the lab. The report from the forensic lab however, was wrong, that is for sure. There has definitely been manipulation at some stage," said Kanth
K K Paul’s letter had also asked for a fresh case to be registered under forgery.
Pareira said, "The letter itself proves that there is a faction within the police that looks out for loopholes and malafides in the machinery. What we need to find out now is what happened to the letter, how were the discrepancies sorted out and if they were not, then why were they not acted upon?"
He added that the official, to whom the letter was addressed, and the officials who were mentioned in the letter should now be asked why they failed to act upon the report in 2001, in wake of the letter.
The letter has also raised a legal question – that if there was no weapon of offence recovered from the scene of the crime, then why was there a need to send the empty shells to the forensic lab in the first place?
Another question that came up is why was a senior officer not assigned to the case in the first place, especially since Paul wanted the case to be under Amod Kanth’s direct supervision?
The court has adjourned the matter till April 19.
All the accused in the case, including Manu Sharma were acquitted by Additional Sessions Judge S L Bhayana on the premise that the prosecution failed to adduce proper evidence against the alleged killers.
Meanwhile, two days after his acquittal on Tuesday, Manu Sharma visited the Vaishno Devi shrine with his father and brothers to pay obeisance.
According to a report, Manu accompanied by his father (former union minister Vinod Sharma), brothers and Vikas Sharma (grandson of former President Shankar Dayal Sharma), visited the shrine on Friday to express gratitude to the Goddess.
Sources said Manu flew to the Sanjichhat by helicopter amid tight security.