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HC asks police to file reply to the third petition to go abroad

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 30 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today asked the Delhi Police to file their reply by tomorrow morning to the third petition within a week of the Jessica Lal murder prime witness Bina Ramani seeking permission to visit to Thailand to attend the marriage of her niece.

The matter came up for hearing before the bench headed by Chief Justice Markandeya Katju in the morning and he assigned it to the division bench of Justice Manmohan Sarin and Justice Manju Goel.

When the matter came up for hearing in the afternoon before the bench, socialite Ramani led by a battery of lawyers including Senior Advocates Ram Jethmalani, Rajiv Nayar and Mukul Rohtagi entered the court room.

Counsel Mukta Gupta, appearing for the Delhi Police, opposed the application saying that she was a foreign passport holder and the investigation was at an advanced stage and required her presence.

Moreover, she had changed her address without informing the police, she submitted.

Mr Rohtagi said it was her fundamental right to go abroad and this right could not be curtailed without due procedure of law.

The wedding of her niece, the daughter of her elder brother, would be held tomorrow at Phuket in Thailand and she might be permitted to go for four to five days only, said Mr Rohtagi.

Bina's husband George Melhot and her daughter Malani would not be accompanying her, he submitted.

The court adjourned the matter till tomorrow morning.

On March 28, Justice Vikramjit Sen had adjourned the matter till April 5 refusing to to quash the "look-out notices" served on the witnesses who had deposed in the Jessica Lal murder case.

On the first date of hearing, Ms Gupta appearing for Delhi Police opposed the petition and said a fresh FIR had been filed against Ramani for alleged destruction of evidence.

The police had issued look-out notice against all the witnesses after challening the acquittal of the accused by the trial court.

On March 22, the High Court issued bailable warrants against prime accused Manu Sharma, son of Haryana minister Vinod Sharma, Vikas Yadav, son of former Rajya Sabha member D P Yadav and seven other accused.

The Delhi Police had challenged acquittal of the nine accused on February 21 by the then Additional Sessions Judge S L Bhayana due to 'shoddy trial' and lack of clinching evidence.

According to the prosecution, Jessica was shot dead by Manu Sharma at Bina Ramani's Tamarind Court, at the Qutub Colonnade in South Delhi on the night of April 29-30, 1999.

UNI PAT VD DB2001

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