Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Malini Ramani, a key witness in the Jessica Lall murder case and daughter of socialite Bina Ramani, on Friday reaffirmed the statement that she made in the court of Judge H R Malhotra on Thursday.
Ms Ramani had told the court on Thursday that it was Manu Sharma who had asked for two drinks from her after the bar had closed on April 29,1999.
She had even identified Manu Sharma, the key accused in the case who was standing in the court.
In her cross-examination by Manu Sharma's counsel R K Naseem on Friday, she said that after she passed out for couple of minutes on hearing that Jessica Lall had been shot in the head.
When asked if she stayed in the Tamarind Court for sometime after the incident, Malini said that she went home after an hour as she was too shocked and ill to stay there.
To a question as to whether the police had tutored her to toe their line she said, "No, the police did not tell me anything. I do not remember what happened on April 30. I do not remember if my mother did tell the police that I was too unwell to be questioned. Yes, we (myself, my mother and my step father George Mailhot) were frequently called for interrogations at different places."
Malini claimed that she had made several statements to the police but the police officer told the court that they had recorded only two statements of the witness.
She admitted that the police had shown the pictures of the accused Manu Sharma to her prior to his arrest.
When the defence lawyer pointed out several contradictions between her statements to the police and the statement that she gave in the court, Ms Ramani looked uncomfortable.
On several occasions there was a clash between the defence counsel Naseem and the prosecution counsel S K Saxena. There were times when the judge came to the rescue of the witness when he found that the defence counsel was time and again asking almost the same question in his effort to corner Malini Ramani.
On Thursday Malini had told the court that Manu Sharma had said that he would pay Rs 1000 if he could have a sip from her glass. When asked if she had told the same thing to the police, the witness said that she did not remember.
Then the defence counsel read out her statement to the police wherein she had said that she told Manu Sharma that even if he paid Rs 1000 he would not be allowed to have a sip from her glass.
The cross-examination of Malini Ramani was completed on Friday and lasted for more then three hours.
The next hearing of the matter would take place on August 4 when Ms Bina Ramani is expected to be called as a witness by the prosecution.
The complete coverage of the Jessica Lall murder case
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