New Delhi, Mar 20 : A Delhi Court today deferred till Monday the pronouncement of the quantum of sentence to former Haryana cadre IPS officer R K Sharma and three others, who were convicted in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case.
On Tuesday, the court had held R K Sharma alongwith three others -- Pradeep Sharma, Sri Bhagwan and Satya Prakash -- for murdering the Indian Express journalist at her East-Delhi flat on January 23 1999.
Their conviction could mean death penalty or life imprisonment.
The court had acquitted Ved Prakash Sharma and Ved alias Kalu.
It took the police over three years to crack the case. The trial has seen four judges and 209 witnesses.
Even as the court held guilty all the convicts under section 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, it held R K Sharma the "main conspirator" and Pradeep Sharma as Shivani's "killer."
Pradeep Sharma has been charged with inflicting fatal injuries on the victim, four others, apart from R K Sharma, allegedly provided him support to commit the crime.
The prosecution has charged all with murder and conspiracy. Pradeep has additionally been charged with theft of the victim's gold chain and camera after the murder.
According to the police, R K Sharma conspired to have Shivani killed after she threatened to expose him. The two allegedly had a relationship and during his stint as an officer on special duty (OSD) in the Prime Minister's Office in 1997, the IPS officer had "leaked" some secret documents to Shivani.
In his defence, R K Sharma denied having had any affair with Shivani, as alleged by the prosecution. He also denied having leaked any sensitive information to the journalist.
Shivani, a journalist with the Indian Express, was found murdered at her East Delhi apartment on January 23, 1999.