In a new twist to the proceedings in the Jessica Lal murder case appeal, noted lawyer Ram Jethmalani, the counsel for prime accused Manu Sharma, on Friday moved the Delhi High Court wanting the Bench including Justice R S Sodhi to recuse itself from hearing it.
Moving an application before the Bench of Justice Sodhi and Justice P K Bhasin, which is at present hearing the appeal against the acquittal of Sharma, he submitted that a news item, which was carried by one of the leading dailies on Thursday relating to Justice Sodhi, was absolutely incorrect.
Jethmalani also sought initiation of 'proper proceedings' against the newspaper and two of its reporters for publishing a 'false' report that someone on behalf of Sharma had sought to influence Justice Sodhi.
"It is an attempt to intimidate the Bench hearing the matter. The whole tenor, purpose and effect of this publication is to cause prejudice to the respondent (Sharma) and to bring serious miscarriage of justice," the lawyer alleged. According to the newspaper report, Justice Sodhi had refused to hear a bail petition of Sharma in 2002 on the ground that Sharma's family had tried to influence him but presently he is the same judge who is hearing the appeal in the High Court.