Now, Manu Sharma shifted to open-jail after 'good conduct'
Siddhartha Vashishtha, famously known as Manu Sharma, is serving a life sentence for killing Jessica Lal, a bartender in 1999. Now Sharma has been moved to an open jail, because of his good conduct. He leaves the Tihar Jail premises at 8 AM and returns at 6 PM, after a day's work. According to a Hindustan Times report, Sharma was transferred three months ago.
Tihar Central Jail, having a capacity of 15,000 prisoners, has semi-open and open-jail facilities. Those in semi-open facilities get desk jobs in prison but aren't allowed to leave the premises. The ones shifted to open-jail complex get a room, and are allowed to leave jail and return at the stipulated time, but can't leave the city. Sharma and five others were promoted to the facility.
Inmates who have spent 12 years in the prison and have shown good behavior are eligible for the transfer. The report added after spending 12 years in prison, and 2 years in the open or semi-open facility, the inmate is considered to complete 14 years term. The Sentence Review Board that looks into release first considers those who completed 14 years term.
HT reported Sharma works with the NGO Siddharth Vashishta Foundation (SVF), that claims to work for the rehabilitation of prisoners and their children. The report, however, added that the registered address of the NGO, a house in Janakpuri, was vacant for the past eight months.
An 'employee' of the foundation told HT, he visits office 2-3 times a week, and on other days visits prisoners in different jails. "Siddharth Ji (Sharma) asked jail officials for permission to speak to you, but jail officials didn't allow because he is still a prisoner. He can only speak when he is out on parole later this month," he was quoted.
Speaking of the foundation's work, the employee said SVF took care of 700 underprivileged children whose parents are in prison. They provide their tuition fees and books. He added the NGO also helps prisoners get jobs, like painter, chefs etc.
In 2009, Manu Sharma secured parole after he claimed his mother was ill. Out of jail, he was seen partying at a five-star hotel, and returned to jail voluntarily after his 'sick mom' was photographed at a press conference. Manu Sharma shot Jessica Lal after she refused to serve him drinks past midnight, making the murder one of most high-profile cases of Indian judiciary.