Monetary transactions among members of an organised crime syndicate is not sufficient to attract provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
Evidence showing the syndicate making pecuniary gains from some outside source for committing the crime is a must for slapping the provisions of the act, ruled a designated MCOCA court recently. “The pecuniary gain or monetary consideration must flow from any source other than the organised crime syndicate or its members. There is no evidence to indicate that the crime (Azmi’s murder) was committed for such reasons,” MCOCA judge RG Avchat said while dropping provisions of the stringent act in criminal lawyer Shahid Azmi’s murder case.
Advocate Shahid Azmi was shot dead in his office at Kurla on February 11, 2010.
The court said that even the prosecution’s plea that accused Bharat Nepali had paid Rs1 lakh to the contract killers for Azmi’s murder and those arrested were members of his gang is believed to be true, money changed hands only among the members of the organised crime syndicate.
The prosecution said Nepali had paid Rs1 lakh to accused, Devendra Jagtap, Rs20,000 to Pintu Dagle, and deposited some amount in the third accused Hansmukh Solanki’s account. It failed to produce any evidence showing that money was promised or paid for the crime.