SC Grants Bail To Controversial Ex-Cop Pradeep Sharma In Lakhan Bhaiya Encounter Case

SC Grants Bail To Controversial Ex-Cop Pradeep Sharma In Lakhan Bhaiya Encounter Case

The SC Bench of Justices Hrishikesh Roy and Prashant Kumar Mishra asked Sharma to surrender before the Mumbai sessions court within a week for release on bail.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Friday, May 10, 2024, 08:56 PM IST
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Retired encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma | PTI

Mumbai: Former Mumbai Police encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma was granted bail in the 2006 Lakhanbhaiya fake police encounter case by Supreme Court on Friday. The SC Bench of Justices Hrishikesh Roy and Prashant Kumar Mishra asked Sharma to surrender before the Mumbai sessions court within a week for release on bail.

He was one of the ten persons arrested in 2023 by the National Investigation Agency in connection with the Antilia terror threat case and murder of Mansukh Hiren. The Bombay High Court had sentenced Sharma to life imprisonment in March 2024 while upholding the life imprisonment awarded to 13 others, including 12 police personnel in the fake encounter killing case of an alleged Chhota Rajan aide Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhanbhaiya.

The division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Gauri Godse quashed the sessions court acquittal of Sharma, terming it as "perverse" and "unsustainable” directing the former police officer to surrender before the concerned sessions court in three weeks.

The landmark judgment had marked the first conviction of police officers in a fake encounter case in India with the Bombay High Court condemning the police officers' misconduct for misusing their position and emphasized the need to address deaths in police custody. “There can be no room for leniency as the persons involved, that is the police, are the arm of the State, whose duty is to protect the citizens and not to take law into their own hands and commit gruesome offences against them,” the court stated.

The state government had dismissed Sharma in 2008 for alleged nexus with the underworld and in 2010 Special Investigation Team (SIT) monitored by the Bombay High Court. He got acquitted in 2013 by a sessions court along with 13 other policemen found guilty in the same case. The high court overturned his acquittal and found him guilty on all charges, including criminal conspiracy, murder, kidnapping, and wrongful confinement.

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