Mumbai: The family of Ramnarayan Gupta alias Lakhan Bhaiyya, a suspected aide of Chhota Rajan, killed in a fake encounter in 2006, on Wednesday approached the Bombay High Court challenging the acquittal of encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma by a Sessions Court.
Ramnarayan`s advocate brother Ramprasad Gupta filed a petition in the high court, saying, "The Sessions Court order acquitting Sharma is erroneous under law. There is evidence against Sharma."
The Sessions Court had last month acquitted Sharma after observing that there is no direct or circumstantial evidence to show his involvement in the case.
The court, however, convicted 21 persons, including 13 policemen, and sentenced them to life imprisonment on charge of murder.
The lower court had termed the prosecution evidence against Sharma as "weak" to come to the conclusion that he had led the police team that carried out the encounter.
On November 11, 2006, a police team picked up Ramnarayan, along with his friend Anil Bheda, from Vashi in Navi Mumbai on the suspicion that he was a member of the Chhota Rajan gang, and shot him dead near Nana Nani Park in suburban Versova in Western Mumbai on the same evening.
According to prosecution, Bheda was initially detained at DN Nagar police station in Versova and was later shifted to Kolhapur. He was subsequently brought back to Mumbai and was detained for about a month.
Soon thereafter, Ramprasad Gupta moved the Bombay High Court, alleging that police had murdered his brother.
In February 2008, the high court ordered a magisterial inquiry which concluded that it was a "cold-blooded murder".
In September 2009, the HC constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe the case.
Pradeep Sharma had been arrested by SIT on January 8, 2010, along with 21 others for their involvement in Ramnarayan`s killing.
According to investigators, Ramnarayan was killed at the instance of Navi Mumbai-based builder Janardhan Bange alias Janya Sheth, who had got in touch with Sharma to have Ramnarayan eliminated.