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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Venod Sharma resigns

Haryana Power Minister Venod Sharma today resigned in the wake of allegations that he influenced some key witnesses in the Jessica Lal murder case to save his son Manu Sharma who is the prime accused.

The high profile Minister, who is in the eye of a storm since a media expose charged him of having paid Rs 25 lakh to a key witness Karan Rajput and influenced two others, tendered his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi.

AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, incharge of Haryana, said Mr Sharma had resigned keeping in view the case against his son.

The Minister, who also holds Public Works and Environment portfolio, has been under intense pressure following Tehelka sting operation last month which claimed that money and muscle power played a role in changing testimonies.

A lower court had earlier acquitted Manu Sharma accused of shooting down ramp model Jessica Lal, who was serving as a bartender in a party at socialite Bina Ramani's restaurant on the night of April 29, 1999 for having declined to give him a drink.

The acquittals, however, led to massive public outcry after the court blamed the police for mishandling the case. The Delhi Police later appealed against the acquittals in the Delhi High Court.

A final status report on a fresh probe in the case has to be filed in the case by October nine.


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