A Correspondent in New Delhi
The prosecution in the Jessica Lal murder case suffered a major setback on Thursday when a key witness failed to identify the main accused Mannu Sharma, son of former Union minister Vinod Sharma.
Jessica was shot dead on April 29, 1999 at a party hosted by socialites Beena and Malini Ramani at Qutub Colonade Tamarind Court in Delhi.
According to the prosecution, Mannu Sharma had fired the first bullet in the air before the second shot, which killed Jessica, was fired by another man.
Eyewitness Shyan Munshi, an MBA student in Delhi in 1999, told the trial court of Additional Sessions Judge H Malhotra that he was present at the Qutub Colonade Tamarind Court on that fateful night.
He said around 2 am he went to the interior part of the restaurant where Jessica was present with some other people. A few minutes later, a well-dressed man walked to the bar and asked for two drinks. Jessica, who was on the other side of the counter, told him that the party was over and no more drinks would be served.
At this, the man took out a pistol and fired a shot in the air. Just then, another man, who was dressed in pastels, drew a gun and shot Jessica from a close range.
In the court on Thursday Shyan Munshi pointed towards Mannu Sharma and said he was not the man who had fired the first shot.
Jessica's father later told rediff.com: "I wish he (Shyan) had spoken the truth."
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