Jessica Lall Case: SC Clears Ballistic Expert of Perjury Charge
The Supreme Court has quashed the perjury charge saying it was “unjust” to attribute any motive to him.
The Supreme Court has quashed the perjury proceedings initiated against a ballistic expert in the Jessica Lall murder case by the Delhi High Court in 2013 saying it was “unjust” to attribute any motive to him for changing his original stand.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur, while clearing PS Manocha of the charge under section 193 of the IPC, said he has been consistent that a definite opinion in the case could be given only if the suspected firearm is available for examination.
Justice Kurian Joseph
We fail to understand how the stand taken by appellant (Manocha) attracts the offence of perjury. The appellant has all through been consistent that as an expert, a definite opinion in the case could be given only if the suspected firearm is available for examination.
The bench added that it was unjust to attribute any motive to Manocha that he changed his original stand in the written opinion.
As a matter of fact, even in written opinion, appellant has clearly stated that a definite opinion in such a situation could be formed only with the examination of the suspected firearm, which we have already extracted in the beginning.
Thus and therefore, there is no somersault or shift in the stand taken by the appellant in the oral examination before court.
Manocha, in his capacity as an expert in the murder case, had to give his opinion before a trial court on whether the bullets fired at Jessica were from the same firearm.
In his written statement, he had said that a conclusive opinion on the question was not possible in the absence of the firearm for testing in the laboratory while in his oral deposition before the trial court he said that the bullets appear to have been fired from different firearms.
In his appeal, Manocha had contended that being an expert and a professional, he only tendered his opinion in response to a specific question by court and “that does not amount to even a borderline case of perjury”.
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