Wednesday, October 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Sharma sent in judicial custody
Confesses to murder, says police
Tribune News Service

Ravi Kant Sharma being brought to the Karkardooma courts on Tuesday.

Mrs Madhu Sharma, wife of Ravi Kant Sharma, talking to reporters outside the courts.

Komal and Pragati, daughters of Ravi Kant Sharma, outside the courts.

Ved Parkash, one of the accused in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case being brought to the Karkardooma courts on Tuesday.

Pradeep Sharma, another accused, being brought to the courts on Tuesday.
—Tribune photos by Mukesh Aggarwal

New Delhi, October 8
Former Inspector-General of Haryana R. K. Sharma was today remanded in 14 days’ judicial custody by a Delhi court in the journalist Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, along with Ved Prakash alias Kallu. The other co-accused in the case, including Ved Parkash, Sri Bhagwan, Satya Prakash and Pradeep Sharma, were also sent in judicial custody till October 22.

Shortly after Sharma was remanded in judicial custody, the Delhi Police claimed that he had admitted to his involvement in the murder of Shivani Bhatnagar.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) U.K. Katna told reporters at the police headquarters that Sharma had admitted to his involvement before investigating officers during his interrogation in the police custody.

“We are quite satisfied with the disclosures he made and will evaluate entire evidence at an appropriate time,” Mr Katna said.

Metropolitan Magistrate J.P. Narain remanded Sharma in judicial custody after the Delhi Police, in its application, said during his 10 days’ police custody, Sharma had “divulged material information” regarding the conspiracy hatched to eliminate the Indian Express correspondent.

Sharma, who was in police custody for the past 10 days following his surrender before an Ambala court on September 27, will be sent to Tihar Jail for judicial custody. Tight security arrangements were made at the Karkardooma court as a large number of relatives and supporters of Sharma had gathered outside the court.

While the case was being heard at the court, a large number of his supporters raised slogans against the Delhi Police and said Sharma was innocent and had been framed in the case. Inside the court, mediapersons and lawyers gathered in large numbers amid confusion among the senior police personnel about the number of those to be present inside. Finally, the police decided to issue passes to mediapersons. Sharma’s family members, including wife Madhu, daughters Komal and Pragati, along with their relatives and friends, were also present.

The police had, on October 3, given a clean chit to Union Minister Pramod Mahajan in the sensational murder case saying reports of his alleged involvement in it had no “authentic basis”.

The defence side had alleged that Sharma was “framed” to save “highly placed political persons.” Meanwhile, Mr R. K. Naseem, counsel for Sharma, moved an application stating that during his interrogation, Sharma had given the names of “highly placed political persons and leads as to how they are connected and involved in the murder.”

He alleged that the police officers noted down those names and leads but did not bother to call them and examine that aspect. “They completely ignored the cogent and trustworthy leads and information against those people to save them and frame the applicant,” he said. Mr Naseem said the names were not being repeated in the application as it might adversely affect the investigation against them “if the investigating agency gathers the courage to interrogate them.”

Another counsel, Mr Mohit Mathur, has filed an application for lodging Sharma separately during his stay in the jail and said he should be medically examined at the AIIMS. He said on Monday that Sharma looked dull and his face was swollen due to ulcer. Sharma’s wife had recently alleged that he was “tortured” by the police and forced to sign several papers.


Sharma’s counsel moves court against Delhi cops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 8
Contempt proceedings were initiated today in a city court by the counsel for R. K. Sharma, senior IPS officer and prime accused in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, against the Delhi police for refusing permission to his family members to meet him in police custody despite a court order to the effect.

The application, filed before Metropolitan Magistrate J.P. Narain, sought contempt proceedings against Joint Commissioner of Police U. K. Katna, DCP M. S. Upadhyay, ACP Hemant Chopra and Inspector K. P. Singh for allegedly violating a court order allowing Sharma’s wife Madhu and daughter to meet him in police custody for 10 minutes everyday.

Stating that the police had refused to allow Madhu and her daughter to meet Sharma yesterday and the day before, the application alleged that the police also misbehaved with them.

It requested the court to refer the matter to the High Court for the commencement of a trial on the alleged contempt of court. The application will come up for hearing on October 11.

The court had on October 1 allowed Sharma’s family members to meet him for 10 minutes everyday during his police custody, subject to the condition that it shall not hamper investigations.

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