Antilia bomb scare case: SC extends interim bail granted to ex-cop Pradeep Sharma

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday extended by two weeks the interim bail of former Mumbai Police officer Pradeep Sharma, who was arrested in connection with the Antilia bomb scare case and the killing of businessman Mansukh Hiran, in view of his wife’s surgery.

A bench of Justices AS Bopanna and Bela M Trivedi, however, said since the interim bail is being extended time and again, this will be the last extension.

“If the surgery does not happen within this period, the petitioner (Pradeep Sharma) will have to surrender after two weeks. There will not be any more extensions of interim bail”, the bench told senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Sharma.

Rohatgi said he will surrender if the surgery of his wife is not conducted by then.

“This time surgery could not be conducted as her blood pressure was not stabilising”, he said.

The bench said after Sharma’s surrender, the court will take up his plea for regular bail.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for NIA, said Sharma has been seeking extension of interim bail time and again citing various reasons.

On June 26, the top court had extended by four weeks the interim bail granted to Sharma.

On June 5, the top court had granted three weeks interim bail to Sharma after noting that his wife has to undergo surgery.

The top court had said Sharma will be released on interim bail subject to conditions imposed by the trial court.

It had on May 18 issued notice on Sharma’s plea challenging an order of the Bombay High Court which had refused to grant him bail.

The high court had expressed anguish at the manner in which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had probed the case.

It had noted that the NIA’s probe was silent on the co-conspirators involved with dismissed policeman Sachin Waze in planting gelatin sticks in an SUV parked outside the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani.

On February 25, 2021, an explosives-laden SUV was found near Ambani’s residence ‘Antilia’ in south Mumbai. Businessman Hiran, who was in possession of the SUV, was found dead in a creek in neighbouring Thane on March 5, 2021.

The allegation against Sharma, who along with police officers Daya Nayak, Vijay Salaskar and Ravindranath Angre was a member of the Mumbai Police’s encounter squad that killed over 300 criminals in numerous encounters, was that he had helped his former colleague Waze in eliminating Hiran.

Salaskar had died during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

Sharma had approached the high court last year challenging a February 2022 order of a special NIA court rejecting his bail plea. He was arrested in the case in June 2021.