Suspended inspector general of police Ravi Kant Sharma was on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment by a Delhi court for the murder of journalist Shivani Bhatnagar on January 23, 1999. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on him.
Three others, who were convicted in the case, were also sentenced to life imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 10,000.
In a one-line judgment, Addition Sessions Judge Rajendra Kumar Shastri said all factors, including R K Sharma's distinguished career had been kept in mind, while passing the life imprisonment order.
"R K Sharma has an excellent service record as a police officer and extreme penalty is not needed in this case," Justice Shastri said.
The court had on March 18 held Sharma guilty of hatching the conspiracy to murder Shivani, who had allegedly threatened to expose the suspended IPS officer's alleged involvement in leaking classified documents to her, nine years ago.
Coverage: Shivani Bhatnagar Case
Three co-accused -- Sri Bhagwan Sharma, Pradeep Sharma and Satya [Images] Prakash -- were also held guilty for executing the suspended police official's plot to kill Shivani. Two accused -- Ved Prakash Sharma and Ved Prakash alias Kalu -- were acquitted for want of evidence.
Special public prosecutor S K Saxena had sought death penalty for R K Sharma and Pradeep. The prosecution had also sought life imprisonment for Sri Bhagwan and Satya Prakash.
Meanwhile, those convicted in the case are now planning to move the Delhi High Court against the judgment.