was Jan 23, 1999, Shivani Bhatnagar, principal correspondent of Indian
Express was found murdered in her flat in East Delhi. She was at home
alone with her infant son, when the murder took place.
R K Sharma, a senior Haryana cadre IPS officer was found to be
prime accused in the case.
He was on the run since August 3 this year, ever since the Delhi
police issued an arrested warrant against him in connection with
the murder case.
Later on September 27, he surrendered himself in a court in Ambala.
R K Sharma confessed to the police that he was acquainted
with Shivani since the days that he had been posted as OSD to the
then Prime Minister I K Gujral and she had been covering the PMO
as a correspondent with the Indian Express.
The investigation further revealed when the murder took place,
Ravi Kant was posted as Chief Vigilance Officer of Air-India in
Mumbai and Shivani was on maternity leave.
While Shivani had gone to London for three months earlier, Ravi
Kant had made 90 ISD calls to her from Mumbai.
Shivani, incidentally, made 176 calls from London to Mumbai during
in Tihar jail, Ravikant Sharma has accused Union minister Pramod
Mahajan who for having had a love 'affair' with the slain Indian
Express reporter. Sharma has termed Mahajan's affair with Shivani
as "common knowledge: "Everyone knew, except the Delhi
Sharma has also claimed that contrary to what the minister has
said, he knew him "very well".
Madhu, the wife of R K Sharma, had earlier alleged that Mahajan
had spoken to Shivani for 45 minutes on the day of the murder and
demanded the details of his call to be made public.
Charge sheet has been filed against the prime accused, Ravi Kant
Sharma. Apart from Sharma, co-accused Satya Prakash, Sri Bhagwan
Sharma, Pradeep Sharma, Ved Prakash Sharma and Ved alias Kalu have
also been charge-sheeted. The case is still pending before the court.
While all the accused have been charged under Section
302 (murder), 120 B (conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of
evidence), 403 and 404 (dishonest misappropriation of property),
Ved Prakash Sharma and Ved alias Kallu have been separately charged
under section 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property).