The Sentence Review Board, which is headed by the Delhi Home Minister, on Friday rejected the release pleas of the accused in the Jessica Lal and Priyadarshini Mattoo cases.
In April 2018, Jessica’s sister Sabrina Lal, in a letter to the welfare office of Central Jail, Tihar, had mentioned that she had no objection to the release of Manu Sharma as he has spent 15 years in prison. He is serving life imprisonment in the murder case. It is the second time the SRB has rejected the premature release plea of Sharma.
The SRB also rejected the request of premature release of Santosh Kumar Singh, who is serving life term for the 1996 rape and murder of law student Priyadarshini Mattoo.
According to Delhi government sources, 205 cases were considered by the seven-member Board which, apart from the Delhi Home Minister, also consists of a District and Sessions Court judge, a Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police, the Home Secretary, the Law Secretary, the Director General of Prisons and an external expert.
59 cases approved
“Of the total number of cases considered by it, the Board was of the view that release be recommended in 59 cases and 145 cases were rejected. One case which was on the list is undergoing adjudication in the Supreme Court, so it was not considered by the Board,” a Delhi government source said.
Sharma’s lawyer Amit Sahni said that his client has undergone more than 22 years of incarceration (with remission) and ought to have been recommended for release. He said he will challenge the rejection in Delhi High Court. “In spite of fulfilling all parameters for premature release, his case has been rejected yet again, while convicts who do not fulfil the parameters are released,” Mr. Sahni said.