Jessica Lal murder case: SRB meeting to decide Manu Sharma’s release postponed

New Delhi: A meeting of the Sentence Review Board (SRB) of the Tihar Central Jail here was postponed on Tuesday in the absence of permission from Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain, who was to chair it to decide on a proposal to release Jessica Lal murder convict Manu Sharma.

“The SRB meeting scheduled for Tuesday was postponed. The date for the next SRB meeting will be decided by the Home Department in consultation with Minister Satyendar Jain. When SRB meetings are postponed due to some reasons, these are generally held in the next 15 days. May 9 may be the next date on which Manu Sharma’s case could be decided,” a jail official, requesting anonymity, told IANS.

The SRB is a statutory body with Delhi Home Minister, Law Secretary and Home Secretary among its seven to eight members. The members review the jail and police reports and the social welfare reports of 40-50 prisoners to take a final decision on the proposals for their release. Their report is forwarded to Delhi Lieutenant Governor for a final decision. “The L-G reserves the right to turn down the SRB report,” the official said.

Last month, Sabrina Lall, elder sister of Jassica Lall, had written to the prison Welfare Officer that her family wants to lead a normal life and has no objection if Manu Sharma is released from the Tihar jail. Manu Sharma, son of former Union Minister Venod Sharma, was sentenced to life for killing Jessica Lal in 1999. The trial court had acquitted him, but the High Court reversed the verdict and convicted him whereas the Supreme Court upheld the life sentence in April 2010.

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