The Delhi High Court today sought a response from the city police on a plea of sole convict in journalist Shivani Bhatnagar murder case that he be granted parole for re-establishing his family contacts.
“Let a status report be filed,” Justice Mukta Gupta said and posted the plea of Pradeep Sharma for hearing on March 14. The conviction and award of rigorous life imprisonment to Pradeep Sharma by the lower court was recently upheld by the High Court which,however,acquitted senior IPS officer Ravi Kant Sharma and two others in the case.
Seeking parole,his counsel said he had been granted bail for two months on October 8,2009.
The convict be allowed to be released on parole for re-establishing his family and social ties as there was no allegation that he had earlier breached conditions imposed by the court,the lawyer said.
The court had acquitted R K Sharma,who once served as Officer on Special Duty at the PMO,and co-accused Sri Bhagwan Sharma and Satya Prakash in the case by giving them the benefit of doubt.
It had,however,upheld the conviction of Pradeep Sharma for killing Shivani,then working with the Indian Express newspaper,who was found murdered in her Navkunj Apartment flat at I P Extension in East Delhi on January 23,1999.
It had held that though the motive for the crime remained “unclear” it was established that Pradeep had visited the victim on the day of the murder.
The lower court had on March 24,2008,convicted four persons,including R K Sharma. It had,however,had acquitted co-accused Ved Prakash Sharma and Ved,alias Kalu,in the case.