By Shikha Sreenivas
Manu Sharma, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006 for murdering Jessica Lal in 1999, has been granted parole by the Delhi High Court until 31st January.
On December 27th, Sharma, who is the son of former Indian National Congress minister Vinod Sharma, was granted parole so that he could write his second semester LLB exams. The exams were scheduled from December 31st onwards and his parole was meant to end on January 12th, but Justice AK Phatak has extended the term until the end of the month so that he can also get his marriage registered in Chandigarh.
Parole is granted on the grounds of good behavior and in an effort to humanise the prison system. And this is the seventh time Sharma has been granted parole since he was convicted in 2006. According to Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), “Parole results in the conditional release of the offender from the prison before termination of his sentence. It is a conditional suspension of sentence for a short duration in order to enable the prisoners to attend to their personal problems at home like agricultural, harvesting, etc. or to attend family-related emergent needs.”
Previously, Sharma has been granted parole to write exams, attend his brother’s marriage and go for his grandmother’s funeral rites. Sharma, who murdered Jessica Lal after she refused to serve him at a bar and escaped conviction for years by threatening witnesses and destroying evidence, hardly seems like the best candidate for parole.
If that isn’t enough to disqualify him for parole, it should have been refused to him after he broke the grounds on which he had been granted parole in 2007, when he claimed to be visiting his ailing mother, but instead left Chandigarh (which was the area his parole restricted him to) and went to a bar in Delhi, where he allegedly got into a bar fight.
Funnily enough, Sharma pursued a PG Diploma in Human Rights and is now pursuing a Bachelor’s in Law from Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu.