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Shivani Bhatnagar murder case: Timeline (Updated)

Date published: March 24, 2008 Author: Newswatch Desk
Attacks: Follow-up   State: Delhi   
Madhu Sharma and daughters
Defending the accused: Madhu Sharma, wife of Ravi Kant Sharma, suspended Inspector-General of Police and the prime accused in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case, flanked by her daughters, Komal and Pragati, addressing a press conference at her residence in Panchkula.
  • Jan 23, 1999: Shivani Bhatnagar, principal correspondent of the Indian Express, murdered in her East Delhi flat, when she was with her infant son.
  • July 30, 2002: Delhi Police arrest Sri Bhagwan as he allegedly spills the beans on IPS officer RK Sharma.
  • August 03,2002: Delhi police team raids Sharma’s residence at Panchkula in Haryana. Pradeep Sharma, the alleged killer, is arrested by police.
  • Aug 7, 2002: Delhi police releases Sharma’s picture and declare a reward of Rs 50,000 for his arrest. A Delhi court also issue a non-bailable warrant against him.
  • Aug 8, 2002: Sharma’s wife Madhu Sharma, flanked by her two daughters-Pragati and Komal, holds a press conference at their residence in Panchkula claiming her husband as “totally innocent” and alleged that “some influential person” was keen to frame him and also demanded a CBI probe to unravel the truth.
  • Aug 12, 2002: Delhi police gets forensic report on the handwriting and fingerprints of one of the accused -Pradeep Sharma.
  • Aug 14, 2002: Sharma removed from the post of IG (Prisons) for failing to join duty after expiry of his leave.
  • Aug 15, 2002: Madhu Sharma alleges Union communication minister Pramod Mahajan involved in Shivani’s murder, Mahajan denies the allegations and says that he shared a purely professional relationship with Shivani.
  • Aug 16, 2002: Delhi police gives a clean chit to Pramod Mahajan.
  • Aug 17, 2002: Police confirms arrest of another accused Satya Prakash from Faridabad.
  • Aug 18, 2002: Another suspect Ved Sharma picked up from Gurgaon.
  • Aug 23, 2002: Sharma suspended from service.
  • Sept 9, 2002: Delhi High Court rejects Sharma’s bail plea. It allows police to initiate process of declaring Sharma as proclaimed offender (PO) and to attach his property.
  • Sept 17, 2002: Delhi police began attaching Sharma’s properties.
  • Sept 27, 2002: Sharma surrenders in a court in Ambala, which sends him to judicial custody till October 5. He is later brought to Delhi.
  • Oct 25, 2002: Police file chargesheet in the case, charging all the accused under various Section of the IPC including 302 (murder), 120 B (conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence).
  • Mar 3, 2003: Court frames charges against all accused.
  • Mar 20, 2003: Trial begins in the case as accused plead not guilty and claim trial.
  • Mar 26, 2003: Sharma released on parole to attend his daughter’s marriage
  • May 14, 2003: Police claim to have found some “classified” documents from Shivani’s flat, corroborating the prosecution’s claim that he used to pass on secret papers to her.
  • July 8, 2003: Shivani’s sister Sevanti tells court that the scribe had confided about her plans to expose Sharma.
  • Jan 22, 2004: Shivani’s husband Rakesh Bhatnagar admits that he knew about the friendship of Sharma with his wife.
  • July 13, 2004: Sharma gets parole for last rites of his mother.
  • Jan 23, 2006: Trial of the case shifted to a Fast Track Court.
  • Feb 10, 2006: Sharma released on parole for attending his second daughter’s wedding
  • Feb 2, 2007: Prosecution wraps up its evidence
  • Feb 13, 2007: Sharma starts recording his statement; claims Shivani knew many politicians.
  • Aug 14, 2007: Final arguments in the case begin.
  • Mar 5, 2008: Court declares final arguments closed and fixes March 18 as the date for announcing verdict
  • March 18, 2008: Court convicts RK Sharma along with three other accused for conspiracy to kill Shivani. Ved Prakash Sharma, Ved alias Kalu acquitted.
  • March 20, 2008: Arguments on quantum of sentence completed. Prosecution seeks death penalty for RK Sharma, Pradeep. Court reserves order on sentence for March 24.
  • March 24 2008: IPS officer RK Sharma and 3 others get life term. Court imposes fine of Rs 20,000 on Sharma and Rs 10,000 each on other three convicts.

[Sources: The Indian Express, Press Trust of India, the Times of India.]

[ First published: March 24, 2008   Last updated: October 21, 2010 ]
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