The Crime Branch on Wednesday invoked provisions of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in advocate Shahid Azmi’s murder case.
Azmi was shot dead by unidentified persons outside his Kurla residence on February 11.
Five days later, on February 16, the Mumbai Crime Branch arrested Devendra Jagtap (28), Pintu Dhagle (22), the two alleged shooters, and alleged mafia manager Vinod Vichare (32).
The third alleged shooter Hasmukh Solanki (32) was arrested on March 10.
During investigation, the police had said, they found that the it was a contract killing ordained by two fugitive underworld kingpins, Bhagwant Singh alias Bharat Nepali and Vijay alias Bala Shetty.
Special Public Prosecutor Kalpana Chavan confirmed the invocation of the stringent Act in the case and said that all the four accused will be produced in the designated MCOCA court on March 23.
Vinod, a data process manager at a Nariman Point firm, was allegedly a pointman for Nepali and Shetty.
The police said that Vinod received instructions from the duo to eliminate Azmi.
Vinod collected Rs 1 lakh for the contract killing and gave it to Devendra.
The initial plan was to kill Azmi either in court or at his residence, but it was abandoned to avoid crowd.
Vinod allegedly conducted a recce of Azmi’s residential area and office twice and on February 11 Devendra, Pintu and Hasmukh allegedly went to kill him.
Devendra fired at Azmi while Pintu allegedly fired before fleeing. After killing him, the trio fled in an autorickshaw.