Mumbai’s Ex-Cop Pradeep Sharma Sentenced To Life Imprisonment For Fake Encounter

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday sentenced former policeman and ‘encounter specialist’ Pradeep Rameshwar Sharma to life imprisonment in connection with the fake encounter of Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiyya in 2006.


A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Gauri Godse quashed the sessions court’s 2013 judgment acquitting Sharma, terming it as ‘perverse’ and ‘unsustainable’. “The trial court had overlooked the overwhelming evidence available against Sharma. The common chain of evidence unerringly proves his involvement in the case,” the court said.

The high court also upheld convictions and life terms handed down to 13 other accused in the case, including another ‘encounter specialist’ Pradeep Suryavanshi, for kidnapping the victim from Vashi in Navi Mumbai along with his friend Anil Bheda and bringing them to the city.

According to senior advocate Rajeev Chavan, who represented the prosecution, Lakhan Bhaiyya and Bheda were picked up by a Mumbai Police team from the latter’s house in Vashi and was killed on November 11, 2006 in Mumbai.

The police claimed that Lakhan Bhaiyya, who was 38 at the time, was picked up on the suspicion that he was a member of the Rajan gang. He also had cases of murder, extortion and attempted murder registered against him. He was killed in a ‘fake’ encounter near Nana Nani Park in suburban Versova the same evening.

On July 12, 2013, the Mumbai sessions court had acquitted Sharma, the prime accused, and convicted some police personnel, including Suryavanshi, and a few ‘private’ individuals, sentencing them to life imprisonment.

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.

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