Jessica Lall case: Shayan Munshi to face perjury trial

Jessica Lall

Two years after it reserved its order on the action to be taken against witnesses who turned hostile in the Jessica Lal murder case, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered that model-turned-actor Shayan Munshi and ballistics expert Prem Sagar Manocha be tried for perjury. The court also directed the Delhi government to come up with a "witness protection policy" within 10 weeks.

The court directed its registrar general to file a complaint against Munshi and Manocha under Section 30 of the CrPC.

The Bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and G P Mittal absolved 17 other witnesses, including socialite Andleeb Sehgal, ballistic experts Roop Singh, electrician Shiv Shankar Dass and eyewitness Jagannath Jha. The court, however, left

it open for the prosecution to

appeal against the discharge of these witnesses.

While delivering its verdict in the Jessica Lal murder case in December 2006, the court had taken suo motu cognisance of witnesses turning hostile in the case and taken up proceedings against 19 witnesses at the urging of the prosecution.

Lal, a model, was shot dead in April 1999 by Manu Sharma, son of Haryana Congress leader Vinod Sharma, at socialite Bina Ramani's restaurant in Delhi. Munshi, who had lodged the initial FIR, had disowned the complaint during trial saying he did not know Hindi.

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