Supreme Court grants bail to former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma

The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to former Mumbai Police officer Pradeep Sharma in connection with the Antilia bomb scare case.

A bench headed by Justice AS Bopanna granted bail to Pradeep Sharma, who was arrested earlier in the Antilia bomb scare case and the murder of a businessman Mansukh Hiran.

On June 5, the Supreme Court granted three weeks’ interim bail to Pradeep Sharma on account of his wife requiring surgery due to her ill-health.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Pradeep Sharma, a retired senior police inspector, in connection with the parking of an explosives-laden SUV outside Antilia, the south Mumbai residence of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani, and the subsequent murder of Mansukh Hiran, a Thane-based car accessories shop owner.

In June 2021, Pradeep Sharma was arrested on the basis of statements of other accused mentioning his name and evidence in the form of technical data pointing towards his possible role in the terror and murder case.

Sharma pleaded innocence in the case, and previously told the court that he had done no wrong and that he was a “victim of police rivalry”. However, his multiple bail petitions were rejected by the Bombay High Court.

Known as an encounter specialist, Pradeep Sharma is said to be close to former Mumbai Police cop Sachin Vaze, who has been arrested by the central agency as the main conspirator in the Antilia bomb scare and the Mansukh Hiren murder cases.

Pradeep Sharma joined Mumbai Police as sub-inspector in 1983 and has been involved in over 300 encounters related to the Mumbai underworld, out of which, 113 shootouts are in his name.

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