Monday, February 13, 2012

No One Killed Jessica - Thoughts Ignited

Background to the Movie "No One Killed Jessica" -

Jessica Lal (1965–1999) was a model in New Delhi, who was working as a celebrity barmaid at a crowded socialite party when she was shot dead on 29 April 1999. Dozens of witnesses pointed to Siddharth Vashisht, a.k.a. Manu Sharma, the son of Venod Sharma, a wealthy and influential Congress-nominated Member of Parliament from Haryana, as the murderer.
In the ensuing trial, Manu Sharma and a number of others were acquitted on 21 February 2006.
Following intense media and public pressure, the prosecution appealed and the Delhi High Court conducted proceedings on a fast track with daily hearings conducted over 25 days. The trial court judgment was overturned, and Manu Sharma was found guilty of having murdered Lal. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on 20 December 2006.
**References taken from various sources before the post was written
No one Killed Jessica, a movie that carries a social message, but I guess most of us would not even have watched the movie and most out of those who have watched the movie would have either not understood the message or would have conveniently forgotten the message after coming out of the theater.

If I talk about myself, I was not interested in watching the movie itself, because the case of Jessica Lal Murder had given rise to many questions that include –
  1. Do you consider Justice Delayed as Justice Denied?
  2. Do you think that the Law Enforcement Agencies and the Judicial System in India is up for Sale? Associated question here is – Do you think Justice in India can be bought?
  3. Do we think that the Justice in India is dependent on how high or low profile case is? 
  4. Do you think If the case gets highlighted in media and gains momentum with the Masses, the Justice is actually delivered, otherwise the Powerful buy the Justice in their favor?
There are many such questions that came to my mind and I avoided watching the movie for quite some time.  But today when I was on the flight, my colleague and Boss suggested me to watch the movie. Incidentally or Interestingly, the set of questions that were already in my mind got emboldened after I watched the movie.

Another aspect that has been very subtly highlighted in the movie is the Role of Media. Very Specifically the movie highlights the Interest areas of today’s journalists.  Yeah, they are not interested in a news or a case, unless it is a Sensational news or a controversial topic.   Specifically when the NDTV Correspondent (as in the movie), Meera, makes a statement on the typical “Open & Shut” case of the Murder, but 6 years later realizes that there is a lot of chance to create some name and get some fame on the name of Getting Justice Delivered.

The third aspect to the movie and pretty interesting one, The Judicial System of India is based on the laws that were enacted by Britishers around 1860s and the system is still based on the same set of laws with least or may be a few amendments here and there.  And that clearly states that those who can manipulate the laws and twist them in their favor would get the justice delivered in their favor irrespective of who’s right or who’s wrong.

One Big Question that I have been seeking answer for and that I let you all decide if you would like to dwell in your thoughts to get the answer –

“Does India require to take on the Streets, organize Candle Light Vigils or conduct Fast Unto Death to get the Justice or to ensure that the Right Wins? Is it that to get the justice, we need to sensationalize our case and then get media support to organize the rest of events?"

I don’t know, but after watching the movie, I got the feel as if Media needs to be used as the Cushion / Comforter or may be an Event Management organization to get Justice Delivered!!!

References - Wikipedia and other sites

  1. India campaign for murdered Delhi model BBC News, Delhi, 9 March 2006.
  2. Murder of a Model India Today, 17 May 1999.
  3. Manu Sharma, Vikas Yadav charged with Jessica Lal's murder, 3 August 1999.
  4. Bina Ramani held, let off. Husband, daughter also in Excise net The Tribune, 9 May 1999.
  5. Former minister's family absconding after model's murder, 3 May 1999.
  6. Model's murderer continues to elude dragnet, 3 May 1999.
  7. Vikas Yadav surrenders, yet escapes arrest, 19 May 1999.
  8. Vikas Yadav is on the run again, 9 July 1999.
  9. Vikas Yadav granted bail in Jessica murder case, 21 May 2001.
  10. "Shayan Munshi to face perjury charge". The Times of India. PTI. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
  11. All accused acquitted in Jessica Lal murder case The Hindu, Feb 22, 2006.
  12. Acquittal in Killing Unleashes Ire at India's Rich New York Times 13 March 2006.
  13. Singh, Onkar. "Jessica case: Manu Sharma granted bail". Retrieved 2006-12-27.
  14. Transcript of the news expose “Case Ke Kaatil”, produced by Tehelka, and aired on STAR News (translation)". STAR News/Tehelka. 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2006-10-07.
  15. Key witness in Jessica case dubbed liar by HC, Rediff, 19 December 2006,, retrieved 2011-11-30
  16. Singh, Sanghita (20 December 2006). "Manu Sharma gets life term". Mumbai: DNA. Retrieved 2006-12-27.
  17. "Manu Sharma out on 30-day parole". The Times Of India. 25 September 2009.
  18. "Manu Sharma surrenders, returns to Tihar Jail". India: Yahoo News. 10 November 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-11-13.
  19. "Supreme Court confirms life term to Manu Sharma". The Hindu. 19 April 2010.

No comments:

Post a Comment