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Updated: November 20, 2009 16:20 IST

Manu Sharma back in Tihar Jail

Devesh K. Pandey
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Jessica Lall murder case convict Manu Sharma. Sharma returned to the Tihar jail on Tuesday before expiry of his parole following mounting criticism that he violated parole norms. File photo
AP Jessica Lall murder case convict Manu Sharma. Sharma returned to the Tihar jail on Tuesday before expiry of his parole following mounting criticism that he violated parole norms. File photo

Manu Sharma, serving life imprisonment in the Jessica Lall murder case, returned to the Tihar Central Jail here on his own on Tuesday following a controversy over the grounds on which he was granted parole.

Manu Sharma “surrendered” before the jail authorities around 11.30 a.m., 12 days before his two-month parole period was to expire on November 22. He was subsequently taken to Jail No.2 where he was lodged earlier.

According to the authorities, Manu Sharma was granted parole on grounds that his mother was ill and that he had to attend to his family business. As his mother was seen addressing a press conference in Chandigarh over the weekend, the reasons cited for the parole came under scrutiny.

Defends position

For her part, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had on Monday defended her decision to recommend parole to Manu Sharma stating that she acted within the “legal purview” and on the basis of reports by the Delhi Police and the Delhi Prisons stating that “this person can avail of parole because his behaviour has been good.”

Report sought

Following the controversy over the grant of parole , the State government on Monday sought a report from the New Delhi police.

In a letter to the State government, the police on Tuesday informed that Manu Sharma was present at a nightclub in the early hours of Saturday and it also forwarded the closed-circuit television camera footage establishing his presence.

Misbehaves with visitors

Enquiries by the police revealed that Manu Sharma, his friend Sahil Dhingra, the owner of a leading apparel brand, and the latter’s four bodyguards had first visited F Bar at The Ashok hotel. Some of them allegedly created a nuisance and misbehaved with visitors, one of whom happened to be the son of a top Delhi police officer.

The area police reached the spot after they received a call about the fracas. However, by then Mr. Dhingra and the others had left for LAP lounge bar in the adjoining Samrat Hotel, which is owned by actor Arjun Rampal.

Preventive detention

Around 3 a.m., the police team reached the bar and asked the bodyguards escorting Mr. Dhingra to produce their gun licences. However, it is alleged that Mr. Dhingra entered into an altercation with the policemen. He along with his bodyguards were then picked up by the police and detained under preventive sections. They were later released.

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