New Delhi: Seeking dismissal of the appeal by former senior police officer RK Sharma against his conviction for having journalist Shivani Bhatnagar killed in 1999, the city police on Monday told the Delhi High Court that he had influenced the witnesses and tampered with the evidence to extricate him from the sensational murder case.
Commencing the prosecution`s argument before a division bench of Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Manmohan Singh, Standing Counsel (Criminal) Pawan Sharma countered the
defence contention that there were several missing links, including the call record, in the chain of circumstances.
"The accused was holding a high position and had influenced the witnesses, as a result which 43 prosecution witnesses had turned hostile in the case," counsel Sharma
RK Sharma is serving life imprisonment after his conviction in the case.
Refuting the defence argument that the call record was tampered with by the police to implicate him, the lawyer submitted the accused was posted in the Prime Minister`s
Office and if any call record was tampered with at all, it was done by Sharma.
The lawyer offered to submit the call record to the bench for its scrutiny, saying if the bench detected any tampering of the call records by the police, it can order
retrial of the case.
At this, the court asked for the call record for its scrutiny on Monday before further argument.
Earlier, RK Sharma`s counsel had concluded his arguments, seeking to pick lacunae in the transcript of the mobile phone calls between his client and other accomplices to
substantiate his allegation that the police had fabricated call records.
Sharma`s lawyer also alleged the investigating agency had not been able to put on record details of the talks between the victim and her husband during January 1999.
Shivani Bhatnagar, a senior journalist with the Indian Express, was murdered inside her Navkunj Apartments flat at IP Extension in East Delhi on January 2, 1999.
The prosecution had alleged in the trial court that Sharma had provided certain classified documents to Shivani that led to her murder by the former as the journalist wanted
to make the documents public. But the court had dismissed this contention by the prosecution, counsel for Sharma submitted.
A trial court had convicted the four accused - Sharma, Sri Bhagwan, Pradeep Sharma and Satya Prakash to life imprisonment in March 2008.