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Ramani's statement given under police pressure: Jethmalani
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November 01, 2006 21:30 IST

Noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani opened arguments on Wednesday for accused Manu Sharma in the Jessica Lal [Images] murder case in the Delhi High Court alleging that socialite Bina Ramani, a key witness in the case, had given the statement in favour of the prosecution under police pressure.

"If she does not give statement in favour of prosecution, she will be made an accused for destruction of evidence in this case under Section 201 of Indian Penal Code as she had cleaned up the bloodstains from the place of occurrence on the day," he told a Division Bench of Justice R S Sodhi and Justice P K Bhasin.

The prosecution is strongly relying upon Ramani's testimony to prove Sharma guilty of murdering Jessica in Tamarind Court, Ramani's restaurant over Jessica's refusal to serve him liquor on the intervening night of April 29-30, 1999.

Jethmalani termed Ramani's statement that she had seen Jessica falling after the gun shot and that she had chased Manu till the main gate as 'exaggerated'.

"The police have put words in her mouth in order to frame Manu in the case," he argued.

He also accused the police of striking a deal with Ramani and her family that they would be let off in all other cases in case they gave statements in favour of prosecution.

"Ramani was scared of the police as she was running an illegal bar and serving liquor without license," he alleged.

Referring to a statement of Ramani's employee Jitender Raj, Jethmalani said the latter testimony negated Ramani as a witness as he stated that she was not there when Jessica fell.

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