All officers who handled investigations in the Jessica Lal [Images] case will come under the scanner in a new probe ordered by Dr K K Paul, commissioner of police, Delhi. Dr Paul has clarified this; the probe has been ordered in view of the trial court judgement that let off all nine accused, including Manu Sharma, for lack of evidence.
"Naturally all those who were involved in the investigations will come under the scanner," Dr Paul told rediff.com on Tuesday morning.
"It took us a little while to do this because we had to study the judgement. We are also in the process of filing an appeal against the judgement in the Delhi High court. Whether it happens today or next couple of days, it is difficult to say," he said.
Judge S L Bhayana, who is now the judge of Delhi High Court, had torn the investigations carried out by the previous team to pieces.
Dr Paul ordered the registration of a fresh first information report under sections 120(B), 201, 218 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, which deal with criminal conspiracy, fabrication of evidence, destruction of evidence, etc.
The FIR (number 120/06) has been registered at Mehrauli police station and the station house officer has been named the investigating officer in the case.
Amod Kanth, now director general of Arunachal Police and then the joint commissioner of police (south) has welcomed the fresh probe.
"The Ramanis were the only key witnesses who did not flinch from giving evidence and managed to link Manu Sharma to the murder. The circumstantial evidence was there but the judge was not convinced. I only supervised the investigations but the work was done at the ground level by Surinder Shrama, the then station house officer of Mehrauli police station, who has now been posted in the security branch," Kanth told rediff.com.
Jessica Lal, a model turned film-maker, was murdered on the night of April 29,1999. She was working as a bartender at the restaurant, Tamarind Court, run by socialite Bina Ramani in Qutub Colonnade in Mehrauli, South Delhi. Manu Sharma and his associates were arrested for the murder. They were acquitted by a Delhi court last month.
Complete coverage: The Jessica Lal murder case