Prosecution in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court order allowing prime accused RK Sharma to have access to the records of the questioning of Rakesh Bhatnagar, the husband of the deceased scribe.
In a Special Leave Petition filed in the apex court, Delhi Police challenged the May 2006 order of the High Court which had directed them to supply the records of Rakesh Bhatnagar's questioning sans personal observations made by the Investigating Officer.
Police have challenged the High Court order on the ground that law did not permit giving copies of case diaries to the defence during the trial and only the courts were empowered to call for the same for perusal when necessary for proper appreciation of the evidence collected by the probe agency.
Earlier, Delhi Lt Governor BL Joshi has given his nod for filing of the SLP against the High Court's order.
Suspended Haryana cadre IPS RK Sharma had sought copies of case diary contending that non-supply of the same was adversely affecting his defence. His plea was allowed in March this year by Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Rajinder Kumar.
Delhi Police challenged the ASJ's order in the High court which, partly upholding the ASJ's order, said the cace diary may be given to the defence but the personal observations made by the Investigating Officer should be deleted before handing over copies of the same to Sharma.
Police said they had already provided to Sharma the copy of Rakesh Bhatnagar's statements under section 161 of the CrPC and that the same was sufficient. They said it was a ploy to delay the trial. Rakesh was examined and cross-examined in the case for about six months in 2004.
Meanwhile, in a related development before the trial court Delhi Police on Wednesday filed an application for postponing the order of supplying the case diary containing statements of Rakesh.
Special Public Prosecutor SK Saxena submitted that since Delhi Police have already filed an appeal against the order, the supply of case diary would 'frustrate' hearing of the SLP.
At the outset of the hearing, Sharma's counsel SP Minocha objected the non-supply of the case diary on the ground that the court had fixed July 19 for it.
Shivani Bhatnagar, a journalist working with The Indian Express, was found murdered at her east Delhi apartment on January 23, 1999.
Six accused -- RK Sharma, Pradeep Sharma, Satya Prakash, Ved Prakash Sharma, Ved alias Kalu and Sri Bhagwan -- are facing trial in the case.
The trial is at the state of recording of prosecution evidence and 202 witnesses have already been examined.
Chief Investigating Officer Inder Singh, who deposed as 203rd witness in the case, is being cross-examined.