In first such conviction, encounter specialist gets life for killing gangster | India News

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MUMBAI: Citing a ballistic expert’s cogent evidence and holding that former Mumbai police officer Pradeep Sharma headed an “illegal squad”, Bombay high court on Tuesday convicted him in the 18-year-old fake encounter killing of Ramnarayan Gupta, alias Lakhan Bhaiya, an alleged Chhota Rajan gang member.
Sentencing Sharma to life imprisonment, HC directed him to surrender in three weeks. It is the first conviction of a police officer in an encounter case in Maharashtra.
“The prosecution on its own steam and merit has also proved that Ramnarayan was killed by police, by trigger-happy cops… It is crystal clear that a fake encounter was given the colour of a genuine one,” said the court.

Can’t let guardians of law act as criminals in uniform, says HC
A division bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and Gauri Godse set aside as perverse Pradeep Sharma’s 2013 acquittal by the sessions court.
“The guardians of law cannot be permitted to act as criminals in uniform. If this is permitted, it would lead to anarchy.” The sessions court failed to see the “overwhelming evidence” against Sharma, said HC, holding the acquittal unsustainable.
On Nov 11, 2006, Ramnarayan (33) and his friend Anil Bheda were abducted from Vashi, five bullets were pumped into the former and the alleged encounter was shown to occur at a park in Versova, Andheri (W), a special investigation team said. Ramnarayan’s brother, advocate Ramprasad, said: “Finally justice has prevailed. By using muscle and money power one can delay justice but cannot deny it.”
The case and trial against the 22 accusedwere for abduction, murder and criminal conspiracy, among other offences.
HC upheld the conviction of 12 police officers . However, it acquitted six civilians .
While the trial court had termed the ballistic evidence “weak” and accepted the defence poking holes in the expert’s testimony that a bullet was fired from Sharma’s revolver, high court held that the forensic testimony inspired confidence and “cannot be lightly brushed aside”.
The defence had contended that Ramnarayan was a Rajan aide who was wanted in several cases, and argued that he was killed in a genuine police encounter. While the sessions court exonerated Sharma of all charges for want of evidence, it had convicted the remaining 21, including 13 cops.



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