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Jethmalani plays emotional card for Manu's bail

April 02, 2007 19:17 IST

Senior advocate Ram Jethamalani on Monday sought to play the emotional card for securing bail for Manu Sharma, sentenced to life in the Jessica Lal murder case, but failed to persuade the Supreme Court.

"My astrologer has said I will not be available after July," the octogenarian lawyer said before a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, apparently hinting he would be no more.

The bench was fixing a date in July for hearing Manu's bail and appeal against his conviction and life sentence by the Delhi high court.

However, the bench, also comprising Justices B P Singh and R V Raveendran, which posted the hearing on the matter for July 17, said, "We don't believe in your astrolger."

The noted criminal lawyer played the emotional card after the bench declined to accept his argument that Manu should be released on bail on the basis of his conduct during the trial of the case.

Jethmalani maintained that Manu never violated any of the conditions of bail during the trial and had surrendered even a day before the trial court had acquitted him.

This, however, did not impress the bench, which said, "We are not going to be carried by this (arguments regarding Manu's conduct). Tell us the ground for grant of bail."

It was at this stage Jethmalani spoke about the prediction of his astrologer.

Later, the senior advocate said he would prefer to address the court on Manu's appeal instead of his bail application.

Manu, son of senior Congress leader Venod Sharma, was convicted and sentenced to life for murdering Lal at a south Delhi restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani in 1999.

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