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Legal

Updated on: Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 10:18 PM IST

FPJ Legal | Pradeep Sharma an encounter specialist has criminal history: NIA tells court

PTI File Photo

PTI File Photo

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday opposed the bail application of encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma, an accused in the Antilia security scare - Mansukh Hiran murder case and told the court that he as well as Sachin Vaze, his co-accused, are known to be encounter specialists and that Sharma has a criminal history.

On Feb 25, an SUV laden with explosives was found outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence Antilia in Carmichael Road. Subsequently, the body of an auto-parts businessman Mansukh Hiran, to whom the vehicle was traced, was found in a creek in Kalwa on March 5. The NIA alleges Vaze tried to threaten the Ambani’s to regain his supercop status.

Sharma had got an acquittal in the fake encounter case of Lakhan Bhaiya, said to be a close aide of former gangster Chhota Rajan. Referring to this, the NIA prosecutor told the special court, “He had an acquittal, but it was not an honourable acquittal. Witnesses had turned hostile in the case.”

The agency said Sharma had met Vaze during the period of the conspiracy which began in mid-February this year. “This person meets Vaze not once, but on three occasions. Was there any business conducted? Can he say he was a police officer who was still on duty,” the prosecutor asked, as Sharma had taken an early retirement from service. “This person is known as an encounter specialist, has a background of criminal history and for him to meet Vaze, that too when Mansukh Hiran was also present, was so that Hiran could be identified, that this is the person who has to be eliminated,” the prosecutor argued.

Further the agency said that the conspiracy was meticulously planned to escape detection and asked if it was possible for a single person to do it single-handedly. In an apparent reference to Sharma, the agency said that until a person who is proficient in these aspects is taken into it, it cannot happen.

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Published on: Tuesday, December 14, 2021, 10:18 PM IST
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