Shivani case: Sharma`s acquittal challenged in SC

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 15:42

New Delhi: The Delhi Police today filed a
petition in the Supreme Court challenging the acquittal of
suspended IPS officer Ravi Kant Sharma and others in
journalist Shivani Bhatnagar murder case.

The police has filed the appeal against the October 12,
2011 verdict of the Delhi High Court acquitting R K Sharma and
two others by giving them benefit of doubt.

The High Court had only upheld the conviction of Pradeep
Sharma, one of the four persons, found guilty by the trial
court. Besides RK Sharma, others acquitted by the High Court
were Sri Bhawgan and Satya Prakash.

The High Court had said although the motive behind the
killing of the Indian Express scribe was unclear, it raised
questions whether Pradeep Sharma acted alone or at the behest
of R K Sharma and others or at the instance of someone else.

"These are questions which we cannot answer on the basis
of the material before us. The quality of evidence before us
is not of a high calibre," the High Court had said, adding
that the call records, the key document, is riddled with so
many problems that it cannot be relied upon.

The High Court bench of Justices B D Ahmed and Manmohan
Singh had said the prosecution has failed to establish the
link between R K Sharma and the killer and even the crucial
records relating to the call details were tampered with and
cannot be relied upon.

It said the prosecution failed to prove the motive behind
the offence and the link between three co-accused, who were
acquitted, and Pradeep Sharma, the man who killed the victim
in her East Delhi flat on January 23 in 1999.

The High Court had rejected the plea of the prosecution
that Shivani was eliminated at the instance of R K Sharma,
then Director Vigilance of Air India, as he wanted to get out
of their "full-blown love affair".

The scribe had threatened RK Sharma that she will expose
him, the prosecutor had alleged, adding it amply established
the motive behind the murder which has also been supported by
the call details of Shivani`s landline phone and the mobile
phone of the IPS officer.

The police cited the statement of witness Saijal Shah
that R K Sharma, when he was the OSD at the PMO, had visited
Shivani in London where she was pursuing a course.

The scribe was in possession of certain classified
documents and had threatened the IPS officer to expose him by
making them public, the prosecutor had alleged.

The lukewarm response of the IPS officer on the birth of
Shivani`s child allegedly irked her and she threatened to ruin
the life and career of Sharma. As a result, he hatched the
conspiracy to kill her, the prosecution had alleged.


First Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 14:56

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