"Reforms Can Be Bought": Neelam Katara On Jailed Manu Sharma's Charity Work

"Reforms Can Be Bought": Neelam Katara On Jailed Manu Sharma's Charity Work

Jessica Lall's family wants to "live a normal life" and has no objection if her killer Manu Sharma is released from jail, says the murdered woman's sister nearly 20 years after the crime.

In a letter to the welfare office of Central Jail, Tihar, where Sharma is serving his prison sentence, Sabrina expressed that she has no objection to his release.

While speaking to Hindu, Ms Sabrina told that there was no point in holding grudge and anger against him since he has already spent 15 years of his life in prison.

Raising serious doubts over his charity work - Manu Sharma has started an NGO and sponsored education for the underprivileged and also helped the jail authorities with their management work - Ms Katara said that there is a huge difference between the rich and poor convicts. Asserting that she didn't want to hold on to any more anger or hurt, Lalll, who lives in Gurgaon, declined "financial assistance from the victim welfare fund" and wrote to the jail saying, "I do not require it and request you to give the same to others, who are more in need". Sharma had opened fire at Jessica on April 30, 1999, when she refused to serve him a drink at a restaurant in south Delhi.

Sabrina said she held no grudges against Sharma now as the only thing she had ever wanted was him to be convicted.

After several twists and turns in the investigation, the Delhi High Court on December 20, 2006, awarded a life sentence to Manu Sharma. Following intense media and public pressure, the prosecution appealed and the Delhi High Court conducted proceedings on a fast track with daily hearings conducted over 25 days.

Manu Sharma, or Siddharth Vashishta, allegedly works together a non-profit in his own name, that claims to utilize rehabilitation of offenders as well as his or her children. Jail officials say open jail prisoners are a step away from being released. Manu Sharma was admitted to an open jail last October on grounds of good conduct and work.

Talking to ANI, Sabrina said, "I have been fighting for this since 1999". He has spent 15 years in jail. However, legal experts opined that forgiveness or no objection by the victims' family members is not a factor for commutation of a sentence and Sharma would have to approach a review board.

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