Gangster gets life sentence in extortion-murder case
Mumbai, Dec 13 (PTI) The special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court here today sentenced a former member of Chhota Rajan gang to life imprisonment for the murder of a watchman outside a hotel in south Mumbai in 2008.
“The court convicted Prakash alias Bunty Pandey and sentenced him to life imprisonment. It also imposed exemplary fine of Rs 31.5 lakh on him,” special public prosecutor Dileep Shah told.
The case dates back to 2008 when unidentified persons shot dead a watchman of a south Mumbai hotel. According to the police, the hotel owner, who had been receiving extortion calls from Pandey, was the actual target.
“After killing the watchman, Pandey called up the hotel owner and demanded Rs 50 lakh. Later he settled for Rs 12 lakh which the owner paid,” advocate Shah said.
The police initially arrested three persons, but they were acquitted. “Pandey was arrested in November 2010, a few days after he was deported from Vietnam,” added Shah.
The prosecution examined seven witnesses including the hotel owner. Pandey’s confession too became an admissible evidence under the provisions of MCOCA.
Shah argued that Pandey was the main conspirator and he ensured that the money reached him through hawala.
Special MCOCA judge A L Pansare today convicted him.
“We demanded death sentence for Pandey saying he was a danger to the society and there are many cases pending against him. However the judge rejected our prayer of capital punishment,” Shah said.
Of the fine, the judge directed that Rs 5 lakh would be given to the kin of the deceased watchman, while the hotel owner be given back his Rs 12 lakh.