Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today granted bail to three policemen held guilty and sentenced to seven years in jail each for torturing a 20-year-old theft suspect to death in custody.

A bench of justices B R Gavai and Sarang Kotwal granted bail to policemen Umesh Gosavi, Sandeep Salunkhe and Kiran Pingale till their appeal against the conviction is decided by the high court.

In January 2016, a sessions court here had convicted the trio along with Head Constable Chandrakant Kamble in the custodial death case of Aniket Khicchi.

The policemen, during their tenure with the Vanrai police station in Goregaon in October 2013, had arrested Khicchi along with another person, Ratan Vani for allegedly stealing a laptop.

As per the court, which had tried the policemen in the case of custodial death case, Khicchi was assaulted by the four policemen while in custody.

The next morning, he was taken to the state-run J J Hospital where he was declared dead.

The sessions court had in January 2016 convicted the four policemen and sentenced them to seven years in jail.

The policemen were convicted on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and for voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession from Khichhi.

All the convicts, except Kamble, appealed in the high court against their conviction and sought their release on bail.

In their appeals filed through advocates Rajiv Chavan and Vinay Bhanushali, the three policemen have claimed that the theft suspect had already been thrashed by the public at the spot before he was handed over to them.

They also claimed that their arrests were illegal as prior sanction was not taken for their prosecution.

According to the policemen, they were only discharging their duties.

Their appeals are currently pending before the high court.