New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday granted three weeks interim bail to former police officer Pradeep Sharma, who was arrested in connection with the Antilia bomb scare case and the killing of businessman Mansukh Hiran.
A vacation bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Rajesh Bindal granted the relief to Sharma, a former encounter specialist of Mumbai Police, after noting that his wife has to undergo surgery.
The top court said Sharma will be released on interim bail subject to conditions imposed by the trial court.
“From the medical certificate issued by the Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, dated May 27, 2023, the wife of the petitioner has been advised to undergo reversal of the Gastric Bypass surgery.
“Considering the reason for which interim bail is prayed for, we direct that the petitioner shall be released on interim bail on such conditions that the trial court may consider fit and proper, for a period of three weeks, to attend to his wife’s treatment,” the bench said.
The top court posted the matter for hearing June 26 and directed Sharma to furnish a medical report disclosing the progress in the treatment of his wife.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati opposed the grant of bail.
Earlier, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju argued that Sharma was seeking interim bail without filing an interlocutory application (application in appeal already instituted).
The counsel appearing for Sharma had sought interim bail on humanitarian grounds, and said the wife of the petitioner has developed serious complications after a surgery.
He had 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 top court had 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.
February 25, 2021, an explosives-laden SUV was found near 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 March 5, 2021.
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 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.