New Delhi: The change of stance by Bollywood actor Shyan Munshi during the trial of the sensational Jessica Lall Murder case today came back to haunt him with the Delhi High Court ordering initiation of perjury prosecution against him for his "prima facie" attempt to "help the accused".
The court, in its verdict, noted that Munshi first identified Manu Sharma as the culprit who fired at Lall but later took a U-turn saying Sharma did not demand liquor from slain model-turned bartender Jessica.
Munshi had also stated during the trial that the man, who had shot at Lall, was "much taller" than Manu Sharma .
"He (Munshi) admitted to witnessing the entire episode, and yet declined to identify the real offender. The witness had no explanation for this volte face. He did not qualify his witnessing the incident, by saying that the given time for observing the man was inadequate or anything of that sort," a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and G P Mittal said.
The bench also said Munshi's attempt to mention about two persons firing in the air during the crime "prima facie" indicated that he had tried to supress the facts.
"In these circumstances, his (Munshi's) attempt to mention about two persons firing in the air and his conduct in relying on the accused's counsel, in the initial stages, is prima facie indicative of his attempting to not stating all the facts, suppressing it, with a view to helping the accused," it said.
Besides Munshi, ballistic expert P S Manocha will also face perjury prosecution with the bench saying his action in resiling from his earlier position was "suspect and questionable".