After her government was reprimanded by Delhi high court for granting parole to Jessica Lal murder convict Manu Sharma, chief minister Sheila Dikshit today defended the decision, saying nothing "illegal or unlawful" was done in extending the benefit to the prisoner.
"Whatever has happened is normal and I do not want to say anything more on this. We have not done anything that is illegal or unlawful," she said. Dikshit had signed on the file paving the way for granting parole to Sharma.
The Delhi high court had earlier this week come down hard on the city government for giving preferential treatment to Sharma in granting parole while neglecting such pleas of "poor" people languishing in jail for years.
In a further embarrassment to the government, Delhi police commissioner YS Dadwal yesterday said that police department had not given recommendation to the government for granting parole to Sharma.
However, Delhi government officials said the report of the police was "not clear" and they are equally to be blamed.
Asked about high court's criticism of the decision, Dikshit justified her position, saying "whatever files I receive, they come through proper channels."
The high court had directed the government to take an unbiased approach while dealing with parole pleas and asked it to decide all the 98 pending parole applications within a month.
Sharma was released from jail on parole on September 22 but he returned to Tihar jail on November 10 before expiry of his two-month parole following mounting criticism that he violated norms under which he was granted the benefit by the Delhi government.
Dikshit said Lt governor Tejinder Khanna also did not object to the recommendation and cleared the file paving way for Sharma's parole.
"The Lt governor also signed it. He has not returned it," the chief minister said.