Pradeep Sharma files appeal in HC

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New Delhi, Apr 24 (UNI) The Prime accused in the nine-year old Shivani Bhatnagar murder case,Pradeep Sharma, who along with IPS officer R K Sharma and two others was convicted for journalist Shivani Bhatnagar's murder, has filed an appeal in the Delhi High court for suspension of his sentence and for grant of bail.

Pradeep Sharma, who is facing life imprisonment has challenged his conviction in the Delhi high court.

Pradeep Sharma, an alleged hired killer engaged by IPS officer R K Sharma to kill Shivani, was sentenced to life imprisonment on March 24 for committing the gruesome murder in her East Delhi Apartment on January 23, 1999.

Filing the appeal through his counsel D B Goswami, Sharma denied having any motive to kill Shivani, an Indian Express journalist.

A division bench comprising justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Rajive Sahay Andlaw has deferred the hearing for May 28.

Prosecution Lawyer S K Saxena and Manisha Sharma who were present in the court were served the notice to reply by the next date.

Mr Goswami contended that since the trial court has held the IPS officer as the chief conspirator in the case,his client had no motive to kill Shivani.

He argued that as per the prosecution evidence, especially the call detail records, the phone number which was allegedly used for plotting the crime belonged to one Rampal Sharma and not him.

There is no evidence against him and the trial court wrongly held him guilty, Pradeep Sharma contended.

Sharma's plea is that the trial court even ignored the evidence that as per the prosecution evidence, he had left Shivani's house at 3.10 pm which means before the incident happened. but the First information report(FIR) recorded by the police stated that the murder took place at 3.50 pm on January 23,1999.

A Delhi court has convicted Sharma, Sri Bhagwan and Satya Prakash besides the 1976-batch IPS officer.

Apart from a life imprisonment the trial court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 each on the three accused and Rs 20,000 on R K Sharma.

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