October 29, 2020
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PW-6: Malini Ramani

Part 7 of 11 of the High Court Judgement: 'She is certainly a witness to identifying Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma along with four or five persons present at the Tamarind Court as also having asked her for whisky and later misbehaving with

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PW-6: Malini Ramani

33. PW-6 is Malini Ramani, She states that in the year 1999 parties were organized at Qutub Colonnade. Liquor was consumed at these parties. On 29.4.1999 there was a party at the Qutub Colonnade which was a Thursday. It was organized to bid farewell to her step father, George Mailhot, who was going abroad for five months. The witness was at Qutub Colonnade on that evening. Jessica Lal was also there. Her mother, (Beena Ramani) was also present. Shyan Munshi was also present. The party was over around 1.00 a.m. approximately and at about 1.45 a.m. the witness went along with Sanjay Mehtani to the restaurant to look for something to eat. The witness was holding a drink in her hand. She found Jessica Lal was there in the restaurant and Shyan Munshi along with some waiters was also present. She went behind the food counter looking for something to eat inside the Cafe but could not find anything. In fact, according to the witness, there was nothing to eat or drink for the last hour or so and lots of people were asking for more to drink and to eat. 

While they were standing at the restaurant, a couple of persons went in. They were about 4 or 5 in number. One of them asked this witness if he could have two whisky. The gentleman was wearing jeans and white T-shirt. He was in his mid twenties with fair complexion. His built was on the plump side. The witness showed her inability to provide liquor as the bar had closed. But he insisted and Jessica Lal and this witness repeated that the bar was closed. The gentleman said he could pay for his drinks upon which the witness said that he could not have a sip even for a thousand rupees. The gentleman retorted saying if that he could have a sip of her for a thousand rupees. This disgusted the witness who walked out at which time she came across her mother in the court yard. Her mother was walking towards the restaurant while this witness was going to the other side of the courtyard. Shyan Munshi came running to her screaming that Jessica Lal had been shot. The witness fainted at that time. 

This witness goes on to say that she can identify the person who had asked her for drinks and who was wearing jeans and T-shirt. The accused, Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma, was correctly identified the one that 'looks like him' but later on asserted that he was the same person. The witness says that she came to know that Jessica Lal had died at about 6.00 a.m. when she was at home. The information was given to her by her mother. The witness was grilled extensively in cross-examination and confronted on various aspects with her statement before the Police, but stood her ground on whether Manu Sharma asked her for whisky though the exact words were absent.

34. The testimony of PW-6, Malini Ramani, has been discarded by the trial court being of little importance. since she was not an eye witness. However, she is certainly a witness to identifying Sidhartha Vashisht @ Manu Sharma along with four or five persons present at the Tamarind Court as also having asked her for whisky and later misbehaving with her. We find it quite strange that at one stage the trial court has returned a categorical finding that four accused were present inside Tamarind Cafe and that finding has been given only on the evidence of PWs 1, 6, 20 and 24, yet their evidence has been doubted and that too without even making real analysis of their evidence.

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