Antilia bomb scare case: SC directs ex-cop Pradeep Sharma to file fresh plea for interim bail

 The Supreme Court on Monday directed former police officer Pradeep Sharma, arrested in connection with the Antilia bomb scare case and the killing of businessman Mansukh Hiran, to file a fresh application seeking interim bail.

A vacation bench of Justices Bela M Trivedi and Prashant Kumar Mishra took note of the submission of Additional Solicitor General S V Raju that Sharma was seeking interim bail without filing an interlocutory application (application in appeal already instituted).

As the hearing commenced, the counsel appearing for Sharma sought interim bail on humanitarian grounds and said the wife of the petitioner has developed serious complications after a surgery.

He claimed the condition of Sharma’s wife was deteriorating with each passing day, and he was seeking interim bail for the limited purpose of taking care of her.

The submission was strongly opposed by the ASG who said Sharma’s wife has been meeting him often in the hospital.

The case will now be heard on June 5.

The top court had on May 18 issued notice on Sharma’s plea challenging an order of the Bombay High Court which had refused to grant him bail. The high court had expressed anguish at the manner in which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had probed the case.

It had noted that the NIA’s probe was silent on the co-conspirators involved with dismissed policeman Sachin Waze in planting gelatin sticks in an SUV parked outside the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani.

On February 25, 2021, an explosives-laden SUV was found near Mukesh Ambani’s residence ‘Antilia’ in south Mumbai. Businessman Hiran, who was in possession of the SUV, was found dead in a creek in neighbouring Thane on March 5 last year.

The allegation against Sharma, who along with police officers Daya Nayak, Vijay Salaskar and Ravindranath Angre was a member of the Mumbai police’s encounter squad that killed over 300 criminals in numerous encounters, was that he had helped his former colleague Waze in eliminating Mansukh Hiran. Salaskar had died during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

Sharma had approached the high court last year challenging a February 2022 order of a special NIA court rejecting his bail plea.

Sharma was arrested in the case in June 2021 and is currently in judicial custody.

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