2006 Fake Encounter Case: Bombay HC Sentences Ex-Cop Pradeep Sharma To Life Imprisonment

Maratha Quota

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday has convicted and sentenced former policeman Pradeep Sharma to life imprisonment in connection with the fake encounter of Ramnarayan Gupta (alleged close aide of gangster Chhota Rajan) in 2006, in Mumbai.

A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Gauri Godse quashed the session court’s 2013 judgment acquitting Sharma, terming it as “perverse” and “unsustainable”.

The court stated that, “The trial court overlooked the overwhelming evidence available against Sharma. The common chain of evidence unerringly proves his involvement in the case.”

The bench directed Sharma to surrender before the concerned session court in three weeks.

Also, the high court upheld the conviction and life sentence imposed by the trial court on 13 persons, including policemen, and quashed the conviction and life sentence of 6 other accused and acquitted them.

22 persons, including 13 policemen, were charged for the murder.

The session court in 2013 acquitted Sharma due to lack of evidence and convicted 21 accused and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

Of the 21 accused, 2 died in custody.

While the accused filed appeals in the high court challenging their conviction, the prosecution and the deceased’s brother Ramprasad Gupta filed an appeal against Sharma’s acquittal.

Special public prosecutor Rajiv Chavan argued that in the current case, officers who were custodians of law & order were themselves involved in a stage-managed cold-blooded murder.

The prosecution seeking Sharma’s conviction in the case argued that the former policeman was the main conspirator and chief of the entire operation of abduction and murder.

On November 11, 2006, a police team has picked up Gupta alias Lakkhan Bhaiya, from neighbouring Vashi on the suspicion that he was a member of the Rajan gang, along with his friend Anil Bheda, and killed Gupta in a “fake” encounter near Nana Nani Park in suburban Versova the same evening.

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About the Author: Meera Verma