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Jessica Case: Hostile Witnesses to be tried for Perjury

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In the Jessica Lal murder case Delhi High Court ordered today that Bollywood actor Shayan Munshi and ballistic expert Prem Sagar will be prosecuted on charges of perjury for turning hostile during their deposition. The two witnesses will be tried in a magistrate’s court under section 340 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and can be awarded with a maximum sentence of seven years if proved guilty.

The prosecution in the Jessica Lal murder case had actually prayed the court to order perjury trial for 19 witnesses who turned hostile. But the court released the other 17 of them today. Out that of the total 31 witnesses, only 19 were available for trial as three had died while the court had itself discharged 10 of them earlier on the ground that there was no major deviation between their statements to the police and later to the court.

Model Jessica Lal was shot dead at socialite Bina Ramani’s restaurant, Tamarind Court, in Delhi in April 1999. Manu Sharma had allegedly shot Jessica after she refused to serve him a drink.

Actor Shayan Munshi was the complainant in the case. He had got the FIR lodged. But in court, he disowned his complaint saying he “didn’t understand Hindi” and hence didn’t know what the cops had written in the FIR.

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