The Bombay High Court Thursday said there was no justification for not arresting a Lakhan Bhiaya fake encounter case convict who jumped parole over three years ago. The court directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone-X) to file a report naming police officers responsible for the lapse.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by advocate Ramprasad Gupta, the brother of gangster Lakhan Bhaiya, which claims that the absconding convict Shailendra Pandey had been serving a life sentence when, on November 2, 2013, he was granted parole for a month. Pandey then got the parole extended by a few days on the pretext of needing hospitalisation for “eye treatment.”
The High Court has directed the DCP to inform them on the nature of treatment the accused was seeking and which doctors were responsible for treating him. “There is no justification for this. The police officers and doctors are all hand-in-glove. Your must fix responsibility. We will monitor this,” said Justice Ranjit More.
“We direct the DCP (zone-X) to file a report fixing responsibility of officers responsible for not arresting the accused after expiry of his parole. The DCP shall also enquire into the nature of treatment the accused was taking from hospitals, the doctors treating him besides specifying which hospitals he was admitted in,” added the court.
According to Gupta’s petition, Pandey got admitted at Criti Care Hospital in Andheri and stayed there beyond the number of days permitted in the parole conditions. He also sent fake medical certificates to the jail authorities, but the police did not bother to verify them, or to get Pandey back to the jail, claims the petition. Pandey then left the hospital at some point and his whereabouts have not been known since.
The Andheri police registered an FIR on February 21, 2014 after the jail authorities informed them that Pandey had jumped parole. On March 10, 2017, Ramparsad Gupta wrote to the Andheri police station seeking that Pandey be traced, but failed to get a response, the petition says.
Lakhan Bhaiya, who was allegedly a Chhota Rajan gang member, was killed in fake encounter near Nana Nani Park in Versova.