Mcoca Wrongly Applied, Four Acquitted Of Charges | Mumbai News – Times of India | IIT EXPERT

Mumbai: Observing that there was no evidence to prove that the robbery even took place, a special court acquitted four men accused of being part of an organised crime syndicate and stabbing with a cutter and robbing a jewellery firm’s office boy of 19 pieces of diamond ornaments at Andheri (E) in 2019. In the 74-page judgment copy, the judge also said both the then police commissioner and additional commissioner had granted sanction for invoking provisions of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) without application of mind,
While retired officer, Sanjay Barve, was the then police commissioner, DIG Manoj Kumar Sharma was the additional commissioner of police, west region.Both deposed as witnesses.
For charges under MCOCA to be invoked, a requirement under the Act is that there has to be more than one chargesheet against the head of the alleged crime syndicate in the preceding ten years. Among those acquitted are watchman Iqbal Isak (34), businessman Firoz Malik (37, auto driver Ramjan Khan (41) and Rakesh Singh (33) who was unemployed. Malik was alleged to be the gang’s head.
Referring to Sharma’s deposition, special judge BD Shelke said that it was incumbent upon him to verify nature of offence registered against the accused and assess all investigation papers and also, assess chargesheet in respect of preceding crimes registered against them in last 10 years. “…the evidence came on record from his mouth referred above demonstrates that he has not taken this exercise and mechanically issued prior approval order. Thus, the prior approval order is not valid,” the judge said.
Barve deposed that on Nov 18, 2029, he received the sanction proposal along with investigation papers from the MIDC police station through the Joint Commissioner of Police. He submitted before the court that he perused the documents and satisfied that there was sufficient material, accorded the sanction.
The judge, however, said that it was pertinent to note that in his cross-examination, Barve categorically stated that he has not specifically mentioned that he has gone through the earlier chargesheets. “He categorically admitted that he has not specifically mentioned that he is satisfied that prima-facie case is made out for proceeding against the accused for the offences under MCOC Act. He also admitted that, in sanction order he has not referred the case numbers of earlier chargesheets.” the judge said.

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