13/7 Mumbai triple blasts: Accused’s plea to drop MCOCA charges rejected
Ansari, a suspected member of Indian Mujahideen (IM), had filed an application in December 2016, requesting the court to drop MCOCA chargesUpdated: Jan 06, 2018 00:20 IST
The special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Friday rejected a discharge plea of an accused in the 2011 triple blasts case. Kafeel Ansari had challenged the applicability of MCOCA.
He was arrested by the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) on May 19, 2012. The agency alleged that he was involved in criminal conspiracy, aided other accused and provided logistical support for the blasts on July 13, 2011, which killed 27 people and injured 127 others.
Ansari, a suspected member of Indian Mujahideen (IM), had filed an application in December 2016, requesting the court to drop MCOCA charges. Ansari’s lawyer Ishrat Khan said his case does not satisfy the applicability of MCOCA charges.
In the plea, Ansari contended that the MCOCA was not enacted to deal with terror cases. Referring to the debates in the state Assembly in 1999 when MCOCA was passed, he said the Act was meant to “overcome a specific type of offences” in Mumbai committed for pecuniary benefits and prevent organised crime.
He said terror attacks were not carried out for pecuniary gain and Indian Mujahideen, which was declared as a banned organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, didn’t satisfy the ‘organised crime’ parameter. Unlike Gujarat, Maharashtra had not amended MCOCA to widen the scope of cases, including terrorism, that can be tried under it, he said.
The prosecution argued that Ansari’s role came under the definition of organised crime and syndicate as he was an active member of Indian Mujahideen.
Meanwhile, the court refused to discharge another accused, Kanwalnayan Pathrija from Delhi. According to the persecution, he had facilitated hawala payments for the triple blasts.