New Delhi: Gangster Chhota Rajan`s former
henchman Prakash alias Bunty Pandey, facing trial in two
extortion cases, was on Monday released on bail by a court here
which termed the probe by Delhi Police as "shabby" and "just a
"The applicant (Pandey) is in judicial custody for more
than eight months. I cannot allow his further incarceration on
the basis of very shaky material (collected by the probe
agency)," Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav said.
While granting him bail on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh
and a surety of like amount, the court also came down heavily
on the prosecution for a shabby investigation.
"The investigation is just a sham. I am not at all happy.
It is shabby and lacks coherence," Yadav said and added, "You
are saying he is an international criminal and has been
deported from Vietnam and then you conduct such an
investigation. It lacks connectivity."
Pandey, son of a former army subedar, had allegedly
demanded Rs 50 lakh from a Delhi-based businessman.
He was deported from Vietnam to Mumbai on November 3,
2010 and then brought to the national capital in connection
with the extortion case.
The prosecution said Pandey had made threat calls to the
businessman from Vietnam. The FIR was registered in the case
Pandey was allegedly associated with Chhota Rajan and
later parted with him. He is also said to have made extortion
calls to Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. Pandey, along with Rajan, was allegedly involved in several murders including that of managing director of East-
West Airlines Thakiyuddin Wahid.
He was deported to Mumbai on November 3 last year after
the police learned that he stayed in Vietnam under a pseudonym
Vijay Subhash Sharma.
Police said Pandey had posed as a labour contractor in
Vietnam and continued to make threat calls to his targets in
Mumbai demanding huge extortion amounts.
The prosecution opposed his bail plea saying he has been
a part of the underworld gangs but Pandey`s counsel Vikas
Padora submitted that he should not be kept in jail only on
the ground of long list of cases against him and that the
police has failed to make any headway in the probe in
extortion cases against him.
Pandey, a native of Uttarakhand, has 34 cases against him
including murder, attempt to murder, criminal intimidation and
He was booked under stringent Maharashtra Control of
Organised Crime Act in two cases in 2008.
He was holding a passport issued by the Indian Embassy in
Cambodia and had allegedly smuggled 16 people from Uttar
Pradesh into Vietnam on the pretext of providing them jobs.