New Delhi: The city police on Monday told the
Delhi High Court that former senior police officer R K Sharma
had been plotting journalist Shivani Bhatnagar`s murder since
October 1998 and had met all his accomplices at Ashok Hotel to
finalise the plot a few days before the murder on January 23,
Submitting transcripts of telephonic talks of prime
accused Sharma with other accomplices to a bench of Justice B
D Ahmed and Justice Manmohan Singh, Standing Counsel Pawan
Sharma said "the records would establish their meeting in a
hotel here to finalise the plot to kill Shivani".
The lawyer also argued that the prosecution has enough
evidence to establish that Sri Bhagwan, one of the
accomplices, was in Delhi and not in Rajasthan on the day of
the incident, as claimed by his family members.
Commencing the final argument on the appeal filed by
the former police officer challenging his conviction by the
trial court for getting the scribe killed, the prosecution
counsel alleged the accused was holding a high position and
had influenced prosecution witnesses, leading to 43 of them
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, counsel Sharma
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.
Shivani Bhatnagar, a journalist with the Indian
Express, was murdered inside her Navkunj Apartments flat at
Indraprastha Extension in East Delhi on January 23, 1999.
The prosecution had told the trial court that the
senior police officer had provided certain classified
documents to Shivani that led to her murder by the former as
the journalist wanted to make the documents public.
A trial court had convicted the four accused R K
Sharma, Sri Bhagwan, Pradeep Sharma and Satya Prakash and
sentenced them to life imprisonment in March 2008.
Shri Bhagwan, a man with criminal antecedents and a
close acquaintance of Sharma, had hired gangsters Pradeep
Sharma and Satya Prakash on behalf of the police officer to
carry out the killing.