Holding that a person can be charged under MCOCA even if no charge sheet has been filed against him in the past, Bombay High Court has refused to discharge an alleged aide of gangster Guru Satam from trial.
Stating that Govind Ubhe, the petitioner, "appears to be a member of the organised crime syndicate of Guru Satam", Division Bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and R G Ketkar refused to discharge him from trial, pending in MCOCA court.
Ubhe's lawyer Amit Desai had argued that until the present case, no charge sheet had been filed against his client in the past.
Hence, Ubhe cannot be said to be part of the "continuing unlawful activity" of Satam gang as defined in MCOCA, he said.
As per the Act, unlawful activity means "any activity prohibited by law, undertaken singly/jointly or on behalf of organised crime syndicate, and in respect of which more than one charge sheet has been filed in the last ten years."
Refuting the argument of Ubhey's lawyer, Justice Desai said in the judgment last week: "MCOCA essentially targets activities of organised crime syndicate. It is the membership of syndicate that makes the person liable under MCOCA."
"Such a construction (as suggested by Ubhe's lawyer) would defeat the object to MCOCA," the judge said.