Mumbai: A special (Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Court Act) court, on Friday, convicted gangster Bunty Pandey, who had been arrested for hatching a conspiracy to kill the watchman of a Churchgate restaurant, Shiv Sagar.
The court held Pandey guilty of murder, extortion and hatching conspiracy, and sentenced him to life imprisonment and fined him Rs 31.5 lakh.
The case dates back to January 7, 2008 when Pandey sent his men to open fire on the watchman of Shiv Sagar. Pandey’s men shot at the watchman’s chest, leading to his death. Pandey also made an extortion call to the owner of the hotel and demanded Rs 50 lakh as protection money. Pandey also told the owner of the hotel that if he failed to pay the amount, he would have to face dire consequences. The hotel owner however informed Pandey that he would not be able to pay such a huge amount. Pandey then brought down the extortion amount to Rs 12 lakh.
Investigating officers Ashok Duraphe and Dilip Deshmukh arrested Pandey in 2011 and he was booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
“This is a totally different case. In this we were successful in arresting the accused after the extortion money was paid. The confessional statement of the accused was recorded before the police as well as the magistrate, and that was what had actually led to his conviction. In all, the prosecution examined seven witnesses,” said Deshmukh.
Out of the Rs 31.5 lakh fine the court imposed on the accused, Rs 5 lakh is to be paid to the family of the dead watchman.