A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court Monday sentenced gangster Bunty Pandey to life imprisonment for abducting two youths in 2004 on the pretext of offering them jobs in a tele-serial. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 16.16 lakh on the convict.
While sentencing Pandey, the court observed that since he was already convicted and sentenced to life in a murder case in 2014, the present case involving organised crime became only strong for conviction.
“Head of syndicate is different from being a member of the gang,” Special Judge A L Pansare told the convict while awarding him life imprisonment. The court convicted Pandey for abduction and conspiracy under sections of the MCOCA Act.
According to the chargesheet, on September 29, 2004, an advertisement was published in a daily in New Delhi by “Omkar Telefilms”, calling for “young dynamic boys and girls between the age group of 16-25 years for a mega tele-serial”. The advertisement mentioned an address in Bandra.
The police claim that on October 21 2004, Pradip Solanki (38) and Prashant Rana (29) were abducted by four people from the Mumbai airport. The duo was allegedly invited by Pandey and Lily, a wanted accused in the case.
Solanki and Rana were then taken to a house in Gujarat where they were confined for three days. As per the chargesheet, voices of both the victims were recorded and played to the relatives in Delhi for ransom. During the trial, the voice of the person who threatened the family was identified as that of Pandey’s. Police claimed the conspiracy to abduct the duo was hatched by Pandey. The accused were also allegedly found in possession of weapons and charged under the Arms Act.
Pandey pleaded to the court that he be given five years of imprisonment as punishment for the case considering that he had two young children in Pune. Five other accused were convicted by the special court earlier in the case and another two have been arraigned as wanted.