Court discharges two accused in organised crime case
New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Discharging two people, a Delhi court Tuesday said the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) could not be invoked against an accused just because he was earlier involved in cheating and forgery cases.
Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain's remarks came while discharging two accused, Judge Chawla and Shonika Chopra, from the stringent provisions of the MCOCA.
"I am of the view that the stringent provisions of the MCOCA cannot be invoked against the accused persons merely on the ground that accused Judge Chawla was previously involved in multiple cheating and forgery cases ... the same is against the object of the enactment of the act," said Judge Jain.
The court was hearing a case against Chawla and Chopra chargesheeted in 2009 under the MCOCA for their alleged involvement in around 13 cheating cases spanning over 10 years.
Police said they had filed charge sheet against them in seven cases, in which courts had taken cognisance.
"Judge Chawla had accumulated huge wealth by continuing with the unlawful activity in an organised manner and he along with his associate (Shonika Chopra) was in the habit of grabbing the disputed properties by way of forged documents and cheating for pecuniary benefits," said the charge sheet.
The court said that to invoke the MCOCA the prosecution had to show prima facie that Chawla had committed the continuing unlawful activity as a member of an organised crime syndicate.
"But in the instant case, the prosecution failed to establish prima facie that Judge Chawla had formed a gang or organised crime syndicate with Shonika Chopra or anyone else," said the court.
The court said that as per the charge sheet Judge Chawla was involved in 11 cases. Out of these, three matters were quashed following compromise between the involved parties.
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