New Delhi: 21 years after model Jessica Lall was shot dead in a Delhi bar, Siddharth Vashisht aka Manu Sharma, who was convicted for her murder in December 2006 and was sentenced to life imprisonment, will now be a free man after Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal allowed his premature release based on the recommendation of the Sentence Review Board (SRB). Also Read - Consider Manu Sharma plea for premature release in next SRB meeting, HC tells govt

Notably, last month, the Delhi government’s SRB had recommended his premature release. The SRB is chaired by the Delhi Home Minister and also comprises DG Tihar (Prisons), Principal Secretary (Home), Principal Secretary (Law), Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), the government’s chief probation officer and a district judge.

Since 2017, Sharma’s case came up for review frequently but was rejected everytime. The 43-year-old is currently out on parole as a part of measures taken by the Delhi government to decongest jails in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to rules, any application for remission is considered only after a life convict has completed 14 years in jail.

34-year-old Jessica Lall was shot dead in a bar in the national capital on April 30, 1999 by Sharma and his friends. Sharma, son of former Congress MP and Union Minister Venod Sharma, was acquitted by a trial court in February 2006 but was in December convicted and sentence to life imprisonment by the Delhi High Court, where the trial court’s verdict was challenged.

In April 2018, Jessica’s sister Sabrina Lall said that she had no objection with Sharma being released.