The state government has challenged the dropping of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) on eight accused in a murder case involving matka king Suresh Bhagat.
Bhagat along with six others were killed at Alibaug-Pen road on June 13, 2008, when a truck rammed into the Scorpio in which they were travelling. Investigations revealed that Jaya and Hitesh had conspired to kill him to take over the multi-crore matka (gambling) business.
On April 24, special MCOCA judge R.G. Awachat dropped MCOCA against all eight accused, including Bhagat’s wife Jaya and son Hitesh after observing that the stringent Act was not applicable.
The state government approached the Bombay High Court challenging the order of the special court which dropped the charges of MCOCA stating that the order of the lower court was illegal.
The division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice A.R. Joshi on Monday asked additional public prosecutor K.V. Saste to carry out some changes in the appeal and kept the matter for hearing next week.
According to the state government, there is enough evidence to prove that all accused were a part of an organised crime syndicate and conspired to kill Bhagat.
Hence, MCOCA is applicable in the case, said the government.
The special MCOCA judge had observed that they (accused) were not members of an organised crime syndicate and hence they were not liable to be tried under the Act.