Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court today
rejected the bail prayer of Haldiram Bhujia owner Prabhu
Shankar Agarwal who was sentenced to life imprisonment for
conspiring to murder a tea stall owner whose shop came in the
way of a food plaza the dry snacks baron was building.
A division bench comprising Justice S P Talukdar and
Justice M K Sinha rejected the bail prayer of Agarwal who is
in jail since he was awarded life imprisonment by a fast
track court on January 29.
Agarwal`s counsel Bikash Bhattacharya submitted the
dispute was civil in nature and that he was already in
possession of the piece of land in front of the upcoming plaza
in the city`s business district Burrabazar.
Opposing the bail prayer, public prosecutor Asimesh
Goswami said it had been proved before the sessions court that
Agarwal was the key conspirator to kill the tea stall owner
and the question of civil dispute did not arise.
Judge Tapan Sen of Bankshall Court had awarded the
sentence to Agarwal, history-sheeters Gopal Tiwari, Arun
Khandelwal, Manoj Sharma and Raju Sonkar under Section 120 B
(criminal conspiracy) besides 10 years rigorous prison terms
under section 307/34 (attempt to murder/common intention).
Tiwari, who had pulled the trigger, was also found
guilty under the Arms Act and sentenced to seven years under
one section and three years under another.
Agarwal, owner of the multi crore food and confectionery
chain which has outlets in many cities and also in London and
elsewhere, had failed to persuade tea stall owner Satyanarayan
Sharma to move out as the shop would spoil the facade of the
food plaza he was constructing.
His hired goons had then raided the shop looking for
Satyanarayan, but not finding him, shot his nephew Pramod
Sharma, injuring him seriously on March 30, 2005.
Agarwal, who was in London to open his first overseas
food plaza at the time of the attack, was arrested when he
returned home two months later.
Agarwal was arrested at IGI Airport in Delhi as soon as he
landed and was handed over to the Kolkata Police.
Tiwari was arrested from Hyderabad, where he was hiding,
while the other accused persons were arrested here.
The prosecution, during the trial, submitted Tiwari and
his henchmen had embarked on the murder bid at the behest of