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HC tells media not to print accused’s photo

mumbai Updated: Feb 09, 2010 01:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The Bombay High Court on Monday restrained the media from publishing photographs of accused persons in any criminal case before the identification parade was completed. The high court is monitoring the investigation in the alleged fake encounter of Lakhan bhaiya, of Chhota Rajan gang.

The court restrained media from publishing photographs of any of the accused arrested in the case, till their Test Identification Parade was over.

“If photographs of accused persons are published in such a fashion, the identification parade would become meaningless. In fact the media should not publish photographs of accused persons in any criminal case before the identification parade was completed,” observed the court.

Public prosecutor Pandurang Pol submitted the fifth report of the progress in investigation of the case to the court in presence of special investigation team (SIT) chief, Deputy Commissioner of Police K M M Prasanna. The report states that identification parade of six arrested accused – except encounter specialist police inspector Pradeep Sharma – was conducted on January 20, 2010 in Thane Central Prison.

Two witnesses, who participated in the parade, specifically identified police constable Vinayak Shinde as one of the persons who had kidnapped the slain gangster Lakhan bhaiya from Vashi.

According to Lakhan bhaiya’s brother, advocate Ramprasad Gupta, the slain gangster was picked up by a police team hours before the alleged encounter on November 11, 2006. The gangster was killed in fake encounter near Nana Nani Park in Andheri at about 8.00 pm.

The court had ordered a judicial inquiry in the encounter killing following a petition by Ramprasad Gupta, who had alleged that the police had kidnapped his brother hours before the encounter and killed him in a fake encounter.

A metropolitan magistrate, who inquired in the encounter killing on orders of the high court, had found the allegations to be true. She found that Lakhan bhaiya was kidnapped by police and killed later. She had termed the encounter as “a cold blooded murder.”