Jessica Lal’s sister forgives killer, won’t object to release
Manu Sharma is serving life imprisonment
Sabrina Lal, sister of Jessica Lal who was shot dead at a crowded party in April 1999, has no objection to the release of Manu Sharma, who is serving life imprisonment in the murder case.
In a letter to the welfare office of Central Jail, Tihar, Ms. Sabrina mentioned that she has no objection to the release of Siddharth Vashishta alias Manu Sharma as he has spent 15 years in prison.
“I am also told that in this period he has been doing good work for charity and helping inmates in jail, which I feel is a reflection of reform,” she stated in the letter.
“I do not require financial assistance from the victim welfare fund and request you to give the same to others, who are more in need,” she mentioned in the letter.
Ms. Sabrina told that there was no point in holding a grudge and anger against Sharma. “I have never met him or any of his family members. I was very upset and hurt, and for many years we [she and her parents] were quite angry. But I think he has served enough for the crime he had committed. My parents passed away years ago. I do not want to hold a grudge and anger against him anymore. I have no objection if he comes out,” she said.
She is forgiving Sharma, as she believes in the Christian philosophy of forgiveness just like her mother.
According to Tihar jail officials, Sharma is associated with an NGO working for rehabilitation of prisoners and their children. He helps inmates’ children to get education by providing fees, uniforms, books and stationery.
However, legal experts say that forgiveness or no objection by the victims’ family members is not a factor to be considered in commutation of a sentence. Only the State government has the discretion to remit the whole or any part of Sharma’s punishment.