T L Garg in New Delhi
Ramp model Jessica Lal died of a gunshot wound on the head, the doctor who conducted the autopsy on her body told a Delhi court on Monday.
"Injury number three was an entry wound in the left frontal region above the left eyebrow," R K Sharma, associate professor of forensic medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, told additional sessions judge R L Chugh.
"The cause of death, to the best of my knowledge and belief, in this case was a head injury caused by a firearm. The injury was ante-mortem in nature," Sharma said.
Lal is alleged to have been shot by Manu Sharma, son of a former minister, on April 29, 1999, after she refused to serve him a drink at Tamarind Court, an illegal bar run by socialite Bina Ramani.
Lal was working as a celebrity barmaid.
Sharma said the autopsy was conducted on April 30, 1999, between 11.40 am and 12.30 pm.
Lal's body had been identified by two of her relatives, Sabrina Lal and Sushil Kumar, and police constable Subhash Chand, Sharma said.
Chugh, meanwhile, granted bail to former cricketer Yograj Singh, one of the nine accused in the case, and directed him to file a personal bond for Rs 100,000 and two sureties of Rs 50,000 each.
Singh had been sent to Tihar Jail on Wednesday for violating the terms on which he had been released on bail earlier this month. Non-bailable warrants had been issued against him after he failed to attend court on two occasions.
Singh surrendered before Chugh on Wednesday. All the accused in the case, barring Manu Sharma, are out on bail.
Four of the eight prosecution witnesses in the case have turned hostile, denying that they were present at the bar on the night of the shooting.
Key prosecution witness Malini Ramani, however, told the court that Sharma had indeed asked for two drinks from Lal, who refused to serve them as the bar was closed. Malini is Bina Ramani's daughter.
Two prosecution witnesses have told the court that they had issued an arms licence to and had sold ammunition to Sharma.
Naveen Chopra, who owns an arms shop at Karnal, 90 km from here, said he sold 25 rounds of .22 bore ammunition to Sharma on February 4, 1999.
Gurnam Singh, who works in the arms licensing department of the Chandigarh administration, testified that arms licence no 191 had been issued to Sharma.
"After the preparation of the licence, it was given to Siddharth Vasisht (as Manu Sharma is also known). The licence bears the photograph of Siddharth Vasisht," Singh said.
There are over 100 prosecution witnesses in the case.
Indo-Asian News Service
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