By: Sneha Shukla
In the Delhi High Court
|NAME OF THE CASE||State v. Sidhartha Vashisht & Ors.|
|CITATION||Criminal Appeal No.193 of 2006|
|DATE OF THE JUDGEMENT||18 December, 2006|
|APPELLANT||State of Delhi|
|RESPONDENT||Sidhartha Vashisht & Ors.|
|BENCH/ JUDGES||Justice R Sodhi, Justice P Bhasin|
|STATUTES/CONSTITUTION INVOLVED||Arms ActCriminal Procedure Code Indian Penal Code Indian Evidence Act|
|IMPORTANT SECTION/ ARTICLES||Arms Act : Section 27Criminal Procedure Code : Sections 161, 162 (2),163, 293,313Indian penal code: Sections 52, 120B, 201, 212, 302Indian Evidence Act: Section 24|
The case’s circumstances established that all of the evidence in the case was circumstantial. In an act of conceit, Siddharth Vashisht @ Manu Sharma shot Jessica, the victim, and then, to show his innocence, he destroyed all the evidence, earning the label of a cold-blooded killer. Due to significant public and media pressure, the high court held the proceedings in the fast track courts for 25 days. Manu Sharma was found guilty and given a life sentence in December 2006.
Another name for this case is the Jessica Murder Case, 2006. The Jessica Lal Murder Case caused a national controversy and resulted in the New Delhi Sessions Court convicting nine of the defendants. The criminal code of the nation was altered as a result of this case. Since both the victim and the accused parties were engaged in the Jessica murder case, it is believed that it differs from all previous murder cases. The dead had a career as a model. A well-known figure in the glamour world, and the latter a man of influence, stature, and social standing who might make or break the fangs of the law.
Jessica Lal, a model from New Delhi who died on April 30, 1999, was shot to death while working as a celebrity barmaid at a packed socialite party. Jessica Lal was born on January 5, 1965. Many witnesses identified Siddharth Vashisht as the culprit.
On April 30, 1999, Siddharth Vashishta, 43, also known as Manu Sharma, shot and killed model Jessica Lal as she was operating an illegal bar at a private party when she refused to pour him a drink long after midnight. He is the politician Venod Sharma’s son from Haryana.
The murder of Jessica Lal has received a great deal of media attention. The media was quite influential in this case. Jessica’s situation served as the impetus for impartial media to spearhead a nationwide fight for justice. The Jessica murder case is arguably the finest illustration of how a media investigation, when done properly and with the appropriate attitude, can significantly advance the cause of justice. At a dinner attended by high-profile socialites and visitors, aspiring model Jessica Lal was shot in the head by Siddharth Vashisht, alias Manu Sharma. The fact that Manu Sharma is the son of a well-known Congress politician should be noted at this point. The supposedly lengthy trial lasted for around seven years and concluded in 2006 with the accused’s acquittal. This was a big issue because practically all of the witnesses had become hostile and had asserted, in one way or another, that they knew nothing about the accused. An enormous public uproar against the injustice done to Jessica and her family as a result of the acquittal resulted. His acquittal was strongly criticised since it was thought to be the consequence of his father’s influential position. As the judiciary came under increasing pressure, the Delhi High Court allowed an appeal against the earlier decision.
FACTS OF THE CASE
On April 29, 1999, Miss Bina Ramani, a well-known socialite in Delhi, was planning a lavish farewell party for her partner George Manihot, who was departing for Canada as part of a global tour. At that celebration, Lt Miss Jessica Lal served as a perfect bartender. Manu Sharma entered the establishment after 12 o’clock with three friends and made a $1,000 offer in exchange for the serving of booze. Jessica refuses, so Manu Sharma makes a frightful demonstration by firing a handgun toward the roof. Jessica Lal again declined; Manu Sharma fired back, killing Jessica when the bullet struck her in the head.
What followed was even more bizarre; the shooting took place in front of more than 300 party guests, yet most of them claimed to have left the gathering before 12 o’clock in their statements to the police officer. It is shameful that such a meeting required the influence of powerful people like powerful businessmen, powerful public employees, style planners, and members of the design industry. All things considered, few attempted to make a sane declaration regarding what happened at the event. Just 10 people came over and confirmed that Ms Jessica Lal had been struck by a shot that had been fired by someone who was there at the same event.
Shayn Munshi, who was at the bar with Jessica Lal when she was shot, filed an FIR against Manu Sharma and his companions. On his claim, the police apprehended Manu Sharma and his friends Mr Vikas Yadav and Mr Amrinder Gill, also known as Tony Gill. On August 3, 1999, a charge sheet was filed against the person accused of executing Jessica under various sections of the IPC.
On November 23, 2000, the Additional Sessions Judge of the Delhi Preliminary Court announced charges against the litigant, Manu Sharma, under Sections 302, 201 read with Section 120-B IPC, and Section 27 of the Arms Act; denounced Amardeep Singh Gill, who was accused of violating Section 120 read with Section 201 IPC; blamed Vikas Yadav, who was charged with violating Section 120 read with Section 201 IPC; and denounced Harvinder Chopra. In their report, three ballistic experts stated that both rounds were fired from separate firearms. At that time, the majority of witnesses started to become hostile, which ultimately led to the nine people who had been accused of being involved in this event being acquitted. Due to their inability to find the murder weapon, the Delhi Police chose not to support their defence with more evidence.
Widespread public opposition resulted from this, and the fearless media turned to the image. News Magazine, named Tehelka, used this opportunity to learn about the limitations of the test. Numerous onlookers were covertly filmed, and they revealed in the sting operation that they had been paid off to act hostilely during the initial proceeding. Those who couldn’t be bought off were threatened with dire consequences. The accurate description of the initial accusation he made in the strategic care was also leaked to the media. In that sound, he acknowledged being there at the event on April 29, 1999, and asking Jessica Lal for alcohol.
He was embarrassed and driven to shoot Jessica Murder dead since his demands had been ignored. Due to these sting operations, SMS campaigns for Miss Jessica Lal’s justice, and public pressure, the Police proceeded before the High Court, and an appeal was recorded against this case.
ISSUES RAISED BEFORE THE COURT
- “Whether the prosecution been successful in proving all of the defendants innocent beyond a reasonable doubt”?
- “Whether the trial court was justified in acquitting all the accused”?
- “Whether the prosecution has proven its case against each of the three defendants beyond a reasonable doubt”?
RELATED PROVISIONS OF THE CASE
- “Section 27: Punishment for using arms, etc.—
- Whoever uses any arms or ammunition in contravention of section 5 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
- Whoever uses any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition in contravention of section 7 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.
- Whoever uses any prohibited arms or prohibited ammunition or does any act in contravention of section 7 and such use or act results in the death of any other person, shall be punishable with death.”
Indian Evidence Act-
- Section 24: “Confession caused by inducement, threat or promise, when irrelevant in criminal proceeding.—A confession made by an accused person is irrelevant in a criminal proceeding, if the making of the confession appears to the Court to have been caused by any inducement, threat or promise,1 having reference to the charge against the accused person, proceeding from a person in authority and sufficient, in the opinion of the Court, to give the accused person grounds, which would appear to him reasonable, for supposing that by making it he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of a temporal nature in reference to the proceedings against him.—A confession made by an accused person is irrelevant in a criminal proceeding, if the making of the confession appears to the Court to have been caused by any inducement, threat or promise,2 having reference to the charge against the accused person, proceeding from a person in authority and sufficient, in the opinion of the Court, to give the accused person grounds, which would appear to him reasonable, for supposing that by making it he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of a temporal nature in reference to the proceedings against him.”
The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973-
- Sections 161: “Examination of witnesses by police.
- Any police officer making an investigation under this Chapter, or any police officer not below such rank as the State Government may, by general or special order, prescribe in this behalf, acting on the requisition of such officer, may examine orally any person supposed to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case.
- Such person shall be bound to answer truly all questions relating to such case put to him by such officer, other than questions the answers to which would have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or to a penalty or forfeiture.
- The police officer may reduce into writing any statement made to him in the course of an examination under this section; and if he does so, he shall make a separate and true record of the statement of each such person whose statement he records.”
- Section 162 (2): “Nothing in this section shall be deemed to apply to any statement falling within the provisions of clause (1) of section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872 ), or to affect the provisions of section 27 of that Act. Explanation.-
An omission to state a fact or circumstance in the statement referred to in sub-
section (1) may amount to contradiction if the same appears to be significant
and otherwise relevant having regard to the context in which such omission occurs
and whether any omission amounts to a contradiction in the particular context shall
be a question of fact.”
- Section 163: “No inducement to be offered.
- No police officer or other person in authority shall offer or make, or cause to be offered or made, any such inducement, threat or promise as is mentioned in section 24 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872 ).
- But no police officer or other person shall prevent, by any caution or otherwise, any person from making in the course of any investigation under this Chapter any statement which he may be disposed to make of his own free will: Provided that nothing in this sub- section shall affect the provisions of sub- section (4) of section 164.”
- Section 293: “Reports of certain Government scientific experts.
- Any document purporting to be a report under the hand of a Government scientific expert to whom this section applies, upon any matter or thing duly submitted to him for examination or analysis and report in the course of any proceeding under this Code, may be used as evidence in any inquiry, trial or other proceeding under this Code.
- The Court may, if it thinks fit, summon and examine any such expert as to the subject- matter of his report.
- Where any such expert is summoned by a Court and he is unable to attend personally, he may, unless the Court has expressly directed him to appear personally, depute any responsible officer working with him to attend the Court, if such officer is conversant with the facts of the case and can satisfactorily depose in Court on his behalf.
- This section applies to the following Government scientific experts, namely:-
- any Chemical Examiner or Assistant Chemical Examiner to Government;
- the Chief Inspector of- Explosives;
- the Director of the Finger Print Bureau;
- the Director, Haffkeine Institute, Bombay;
- the Director 1 , Deputy Director or Assistant Director] of a Central Forensic Science Laboratory or a State Forensic Science Laboratory;
- the Serologist to the Government.”
- Section 313: “Power to examine the accused.
- In every inquiry or trial, for the purpose of enabling the accused personally to explain any circumstances appearing in the evidence against him, the Court-
- may at any stage, without previously warning the accused, put such questions to him as the Court considers necessary;
- shall, after the witnesses for the prosecution have been examined and before he is called on for his defence, question him generally on the case: Provided that in a summons- case, where the Court has dispensed with the personal attendance of the accused, it may also dispense with his examination under clause (b).
- No oath shall be administered to the accused when he is examined under sub- section (1).
- The accused shall not render himself liable to punishment by refusing to answer such questions, or by giving false answers to them.
- The answers given by the accused may be taken into consideration in such inquiry or trial, and put in evidence for or against him in any other inquiry into, or trial for, any other offence which such answers may tend to show he has committed.”
Indian penal code-
- Section 120B: “Punishment of criminal conspiracy.—
- Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, 2[imprisonment for life] or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards, shall, where no express provision is made in this Code for the punishment of such a conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence.
- Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy other than a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable as aforesaid shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding six months, or with fine or with both.]”
- Section 201: “Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender.—Whoever, knowing or having reason to believe that an offence has been committed, causes any evidence of the commission of that offence to disappear, with the intention of screening the offender from legal punishment, or with that intention gives any information respecting the offence which he knows or believes to be false; if a capital offence.—shall, if the offence which he knows or believes to have been committed is punishable with death, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine; if punishable with imprisonment for life.—and if the offence is punishable with
- 1[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine; if punishable with less than ten years’
- imprisonment.—and if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for any term not extending to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of the description provided for the offence, for a term which may extend to one-fourth part of the longest term of thenimprisonment provided for the offence, or with fine, or with both. Illustration A, knowing that B has murdered Z, assists B to hide the body with the intention of screening B from punishment. A is liable to imprisonment of either description for seven years, and also to
Section 212: “Harbouring offender.—Whenever an offence has been committed, whoever harbours or conceals a person whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the offender, with the intention of screening him from legal punishment; if a capital offence.—shall, if the offence is punishable with death, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine; if punishable with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment.—and if the offence is punishable with 1[imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if the offence is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year, and not to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of the description provided for the offence for a term which may extend to one-fourth part of the longest term of imprisonment provided for the offence, or with fine, or with both. 2[“Offence” in this section includes any act committed at any place out of 3[India], which, if committed in 3[India], would be punishable under any of the following sections, namely, 302, 304, 382, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 435, 436, 449, 450, 457, 458, 459 and 460; and every such act shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be punishable as if the accused person had been guilty of it in 3[India].]
(Exception) —This provision shall not extend to any case in which the harbour or concealment is by the husband or wife of the offender. Illustration A, knowing that B has committed dacoity, knowingly conceals B in order to screen him from legal punishment. Here, as B is liable to 1[imprisonment for life], A is liable to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding three years, and is also liable to fine.”
Section 302: “Punishment for murder.—Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or 1[imprisonment for life], and shall also be liable to fine.”
ARGUMENTS FROM THE APPELLANT SIDE
- Shri Gopal Subramanium, learned Additional Solicitor General, challenged the accuracy of the decision under appeal, claiming that it is self-destructive, inconsistent, and fails to recognise the evidence on the record as well being a misread evidence.” In support of his contention, the learned Additional Solicitor General pointed out that the Court agrees with the Prosecution to the effect that Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma was the holder of a licensed pistol of .22 bore; that Tata Safari car No. CH-01-W-6535 was registered in the name of Piccadilly Agro Industries Pvt. Ltd., Chandigarh, of which accused Sidhartha Vashisht was one of the directors”.
- “Solicitor General argued that the findings of the trial court against the Prosecution in paragraphs 241, 250, 251, 254, 277, 278, 280, 285, 292 and 295 in r the occurrence are incorrect and perverse.” According to him, the prosecution has been able to demonstrate that the trial court’s rulings against the prosecution were erroneous and perverse since they were not supported by the facts presented in court.
- The Prosecution, according to the learned additional solicitor general, has been able to establish that Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma, Amardeep Singh Gill, Alok Khanna, and Vikas Yadav were present at the scene of the incident on the night of the 29th and 30th of April 1999. There is documentation to support the claim that Manu Sharma was in possession of a firearm when he fired two rounds, one of which hit Jessica Lal and the other of which was fired into the air and passed through the roof. The learned Counsel discarded the theory “that they were fired by two different people “.
- The learned counsel held that the prosecution has managed to demonstrate that Roop Singh’s expert opinion is inadmissible and unacceptable as evidence. It has also demonstrated the ambiguity of Prem Sagar Minocha’s view, which is presented in Exhibit PW-95/C-1. Ex. PW-95/C-1, his evidence in court that contradicts his view, is unreliable and has no basis.
- He went on to say that a lot of the prosecution witnesses, in this case, became hostile due to pressure from the defence. The defence even went so far as to tamper with the court file. It has included phoney evidence from hostile witnesses.
- The learned Counsel said that Manu Sharma arrived at Qutub Colonnade in a black Tata Safari car, registration number CH-01-W-6535, which he later abandoned while quickly fleeing the scene of the shooting. In other words, the prosecution has established beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty.
ARGUMENTS FROM THE RESPONDENT SIDE
- The learned counsel said that nobody observed Manu Sharma at the scene of the incident, and it is evident from the evidence of Shyan Munshi, Shiv Dass Yadav, and Karan Rajput that no one saw Manu Sharma utilising a firearm to fire two bullets, much less the shot that killed Jessica Lal. None of these witnesses was there when the incident took place, but they all saw events that happened before and after.
- The renowned Senior Advocate Shri Ram Jethmalani said that Manu Sharma was not present at the Qutub Colonade on April 29 or 30, 1999. He argued that there is no evidence to support Manu Sharma’s presence at the scene of the incident, and witnesses do not in any way indicate that they knew the accused. He further argued that the prosecution cannot use these witnesses’ testimonies to establish Manu Sharma’s presence at the scene of the incident because PW-1 has already been designated as a “planted witness.”
- The learned counsel further said that Shyan Munshi makes it quite evident that two distinct individuals shot from two distinct firearms. The FIR, according to his statement to the police, was written in Hindi, a language he was not familiar with, and neither was it dictated to him nor read to him. Since the witnesses were required to sign their statements, the defence claimed that Section 162 of the Criminal Procedure Code applied to the statement of the witness that the prosecution intended to utilise to prove the accused’s guilt. As a result, the evidential value has been greatly diminished and cannot be utilised as only proof.
- The FIR based on Shyan Munshi’s testimony cannot be considered a valid FIR. The Police signed his statement, which violates Section 162(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code. He said that from the time of the investigation up until the trial, the Police had created evidence. Manu Sharma was the murderer, according to PW-1, but his confession was only recorded on May 14, 1999, a fatally lengthy wait. He is a friend of the dead, and he has a reason to lie.
- The learned Counsel argued that as “there is a possibility of two bullets being fired by two different persons, there is no certainty that the bullet that killed Jessica Lal was fired by Manu Sharma. “Shyan Munshi is a reliable witness who states that Manu Sharma was not the one who fired a shot in the open.” There is no proof that Manu Sharma fired the fatal bullet. So, he can not be convicted under Section 302 IPC.”
- The learned Counsel continued by arguing that the prosecution had been dishonest and unjust in its attempt to suppress the testimony of ballistic expert Roop Singh, which had to be recorded after the accused filed a court motion requesting that it be done. The two empties that were examined appear to have been discharged from two distinct fire guns, according to the ballistic expert. The Court cannot overturn the conclusion that two people fired two bullets, according to the expert’s assessment and Shyan Munshi’s testimony.
- According to the Supreme Court’s rulings in Hari Nath and Anr. v. State of U.P. and Budhsen and Anr. v. the State of U.P., he learned counsel claimed that identification in court is irrelevant. The attorney contends that Beena Ramani does not indicate that Manu Sharma fired the fatal shot at the victim.
- The learned counsel Mr Jethmalani would have the court believe that Sidhartha Vashishta, Manu Sharma was not present, Beena Ramani was not present, George Mailhot was not present, Deepak Bhagwant was not present and the Tata Safari was planted. He said two weapons were used which he supports with the aid of experts and Shyan Munshi.
- The learned Counsel further said that there was no proof of Tata Safari’s presence in the Qutub Colonnade. PW-83, Head Constable Devi Singh of the PCR, arrived at the scene at 2.17 a.m. His testimony in court conflicts with the one given to the police, making him an unreliable witness. Although PW-78, Shri Sarad Kumar Bishoi, has modified his statement in court, he did not mention the Tata Safari in his statement to the police. He is also unreliable and is a plant because he was meant to be at the Qutub Colonnade carrying out his assigned duties rather than being there.
- The learned counsel “Mr. Ram Jethmalani in support of his contentions referred to the following judgments: State of Rajasthan v. Teg Bahadur, State v. Siddarth Vashisth @ Manu Sharma and Ors., Raja Ram v. State of Rajasthan, Emperor v. Ardali Mian,.”
According to the Honorable High Court, the trial court made a serious mistake in Its judgement according to the aforementioned analysis, we find Amardeep Singh Gill and Vikas Yadav responsible for the offence punishable under Section 201 IPC/120B IPC and hold Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma responsible for the murder of Jessica Lal under Section 302 IPC as well as under Section 27 Arms Act and Section 201/120B IPC. We uphold the acquittal of the remaining respondents for the offences asserted against them. Siddharth Vashisht, Manu Sharma, Vikas Yadav, and Amardeep Singh Gill should all be detained and sent to Central Jail in Tihar.
The trial court erred in reaching a factually incorrect conclusion about Beena Ramani’s belief that Manu Sharma shot Jessica Lal and that she was not an eyewitness, which was not supported by the evidence on record because it was based on testimony from crucial witnesses who did not exist. Malini Ramani’s evidence was disregarded by the trial court because it was deemed unnecessary. After all, she was not a witness. She did, however, name Sidhartha Vashisht and Manu Sharma, as well as four or five other people present at the Tamarind Court, as having solicited her for alcohol and then misbehaving with her.
On the contrary, the witness stated unequivocally that it was Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma who fired at Jessica Lal, causing her to collapse. The witness is a witness to what happened and an eyewitness to the main event.
The High Court ruled that Beena Ramani’s testimony was decisive evidence against the defendants. The court then considered the other witnesses’ testimony in light of its own interpretation of Beena Ramani’s remark. Bina Ramani’s statement clearly shows that she saw Sidhartha Vashisht shooting Jessica Lal. Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma took out his revolver and fired two rounds, one at Jessica Lal and one towards the ceiling. Although Beena Ramani’s evidence is sufficient to establish the case against Sidhartha Vashisht.
The prosecution’s claim that Sidhartha Vashisht killed Jessica Lal is supported by the recovery of the “Tata Safari from Noida after it was stolen by Amardeep Singh Gill, Tony Gill, and Vikas Yadav from Qutub Colonnade. Tata Safari No. CH-01-W-6535 was parked at Qutub Colonnade on the night of April 29 and 30, 1999, according to evidence.”
The fact that Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma confesses to owning a licensed 22-calibre handgun at the time of Jessica Lal’s murder is another solid indicator of his involvement in the crime. He also doesn’t dispute the fact that the police retrieved two empty.22 bore cartridge casings from the scene of the shooting or the fact that Jessica Lal’s skull contained a lead bullet. He should have brought his licenced firearm and the 25 rounds to demonstrate that he could not have been involved in this crime under these circumstances, especially while he was aware that he had been charged with murder.
The Honourable High Court held that :
“ We are in full agreement with the submission of the learned Additional Solicitor General in this regard and have no hesitation in rejecting this plea of the accused. From the above, there is sufficient evidence to bring home the guilt of the accused, Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma to the charge of murder of Jessica Lal.”
According to Section 293 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the report of Roop Singh Ex. PW-89/DB is not evidence per se because it was a photocopy, in which case it was the responsibility of the defence to question Roop Singh if they wanted to rely on his opinion.
The defence claims that the two-weapon idea is fiction, and there is evidence to support this claim that has been manipulated, particularly by Shyan Munshi, who made this claim in court for the first time. Even if the empties were sent for analysis at such a late date, it is still possible that foul play was used to undermine the prosecution’s case before the trial. Therefore, we do not believe it is essential to analyse Prem Sagar Manocha’s evidence any further.
Regarding the prosecution’s case against Vikas Yadav and Amardeep Singh Gill, we have already mentioned that both of these suspects were present at the Tamarind Cafe when Manu Sharma shot Jessica Lal. PW-30 Sharvan Kumar then observed these two individuals arriving in a white Tata Siera being driven by Amardeep Singh Gill, from which Vikas Yadav got out and secretly retrieved the Tata Safari that Sharvan Kumar was watching over. The removal of the Tata Safari from Qutub Colonnade by Vikas Yadav and Amardeep Singh Gill, who both knew that Manu Sharma had committed an offence at the Tamarind Cafe, is enough to establish their culpability under Section 201 of the IPC.
In the final words, Honourable Court held that we find Amardeep Singh Gill and Vikas Yadav responsible for the offence punishable under Section 201 IPC/120B IPC and hold Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma responsible for the murder of Jessica Lal under Section 302 IPC as well as under Section 27 Arms Act and Section 201/120B IPC. We uphold the acquittal of the remaining respondents for the offences asserted against them. Siddharth Vashisht, Manu Sharma, Vikas Yadav, and Amardeep Singh Gill should all be detained right now and brought to Central Jail in Tihar. The appeal is dismissed in the manner stated above.
The Honorable Court concluded by holding that Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma is accountable for the murder of Jessica Lal under Section 302 IPC as well as under Section 27 Arms Act and Section 201/120B IPC and that we find Amardeep Singh Gill and Vikas Yadav responsible for the offence punishable under Section 201 IPC/120B IPC. We affirm the remaining respondents’ exoneration from the charges brought against them. Amardeep Singh Gill, Manu Sharma, Vikas Yadav, and Siddharth Vashisht should all be apprehended immediately and sent to Central Jail in Tihar.
The Jessica murder case is regarded as a notable case since so many prominent individuals were involved. If the accused had been able to control his rage, Jessica would still be with us today. Being the politician’s son, he had no fear of getting caught or even of going to jail. Jessica would not have gained justice till now if the media had not gotten involved in her case. The case that resulted in Manu Sharma’s life sentence took on a whole new direction thanks to the media. The case’s overarching lesson is that the law must respond to all injustices by choosing to change; fundamental elements, and systematic overhauls as may be necessary.
 Author is 3rd semester student of Amity Law University, Lucknow.
 Arms Act. § 27.
 Indian Evidence Act. § 24.
 The Code of Criminal Procedure,1973. § 161.
 The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. § 162 (2).
 The Code of Criminal Procedure,1973. § 163.
 The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. § 293.
 The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. § 313.
 Indian Penal Code. § 120B.
 Indian Penal Code. § 201.
 Indian Penal Code. § 212.
 Indian Penal Code. § 302.
 State of Rajasthan v. Teg Bahadur, (2004) 13 SCC 300.
 State v. Siddarth Vashisth @ Manu Sharma and Ors., 2001 III AD ( DELHI) 829.
 Raja Ram v. State of Rajasthan, JT 2000 (7) SC 549.
 Emperor v. Argali Mian, AIR 1933 Patna 496.