Jessica murder: Court summons Munshi in perjury complaint

New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS) A Delhi court Thursday summoned Bollywood actor Shayan Munshi and a ballistic expert on complaints seeking their prosecution for retracting from their testimony in the model Jessica Lall murder trial.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vidya Prakash issued summons for Munshi and ballistic expert Prem Kumar Manocha for Dec 18 after taking cognizance of the complaint filed by the Delhi High Court registrar on the basis of the March 22 high court order directing their prosecution for perjury.

The court taking cognizance of the complaint said: "After considering averments made in the criminal complaint filed under section 340 CrPC (relating to lying on oath)...I take cognizance in the matter."

It added: "Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case as well as the material available on record, the court is of the view that there is sufficient ground to summon the accused in the case. Accordingly accused be summoned for Dec 18."

Two complaints have been filed before a Delhi court seeking prosecution of Munshi and the ballistic expert for retracting from their testimony in the model Jessica Lall murder trial.

The Delhi High Court March 22 ordered that a perjury case be registered against witnesses Munshi and Manocha for turning hostile during their deposition in the murder trial.

Munshi, who was the prime witness of prosecution in the case, and Manocha were accused of lying on oath during trial before the sessions court.

Lall was shot dead at Tamarind Court, a restaurant owned by socialite Bina Ramani, in south Delhi's Mehrauli area on the night of April 29-30, 1999.

According to police, she was shot dead by Manu Sharma, son of Haryana Congress leader Venod Sharma after she refused to serve him a drink at the party. Munshi had lodged the FIR in the case.

The trial court had acquitted Manu Sharma but the high court overturned the verdict, convicting him and sentencing him to life imprisonment.

The Supreme Court in April 2010 upheld the high court's order in the murder case and also endorsed its findings on the issue of perjury.

Munshi, the complainant in the case, had disowned the complaint during the trial.

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