The Bombay high court on Wednesday issued notices to the Commissioner of Police and State Government in the matter related to withdrawal of police protection of advocate Ramprasad Gupta, brother of Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiyya – alleged aide of Chhota Rajan who was killed in an encounter in 2006.
A division bench of justices PB Varale and SM Modak issued notices while hearing a petition filed by Gupta seeking quashing of the order withdrawing his security.
On November 11, 2006, a police team picked up Lakkhan Bhaiyya, from neighbouring Vashi on the suspicion that he was a member of Rajan gang, along with his friend Anil Bheda. According to prosecution, Gupta was killed in a fake encounter near Nana Nani Park in suburban Versova in Western Mumbai on the same evening. Bheda was released after a month.
In March 2011, Bheda was abducted and murdered. His charred remains were found near Manor in rural Thane. Bheda’s murder remains unsolved.
After Bheda’s murder, Gupta was provided with police protection immediately in March 2011.
In 2014, the sessions had convicted 21 persons including 13 police men and sentenced them to life imprisonment on charges of murder of Ramnarayan Gupta. Encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma was acquitted in the case.
Gupta and government have filed appeals in the HC challenging Sharma’s acquittal. Those convicted have challenged their conviction. The appeals were admitted in September 2014 which is now likely to come up for hearing soon.
Pending hearing in appeals, order was passed by CP on March 18 this year withdrawing Gupta’s security.
Despite his appeal, Gupta did not receive any reply from the police hence he filed a petition in the HC. His advocate, Akshay Malviya brought to the notice of the HC that without giving any intimation or hearing, Gupta’s police protection was arbitrarily withdrawn.
The HC has kept the petition for hearing after eight weeks.