Apex court upholds no bail provision for habitual MCOCA offenders

September 7th, 2008 - 3:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) The Supreme Court has upheld that no bail will be given to those repeatedly committing offences under Maharashtra’s anti-terror law, the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). The apex court also upheld the constitutional validity of intercepting telephonic talks and using the intercepts as evidence in court.However, the apex court ruled that a person out on bail in a criminal case under another penal law cannot be denied bail for an offence under the Maharashtra special law.

The state had enacted the MCOCA in 1999 to curb the alarming growth of organised criminal syndicates involved in contract killings, kidnapping for ransom, gun running, money laundering and drug peddling, often in collusion with militants and other anti-national elements.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan gave the ruling Monday while upholding the constitutional validity of provisions for interception of telephonic talks and the use of the intercepts as evidence in courts.

The bench, which also included Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice M.K. Sharma, gave the verdict on a suit by the Maharashtra government challenging a Bombay High Court ruling.

The high court had struck down in 2003 as unconstitutional the provisions for interception of telephonic talks under MCOCA.

It had struck down partially another MCOCA provision seeking to deny bail to anyone accused of committing an organised crime while out on bail for another offence under the Indian Penal Code.

The high court had held that a person accused of committing an organised crime while on bail in a case for a similar offence may be denied bail.

But denying bail to a person accused of committing an organised crime while on bail in any other criminal case would be wrong, the high court had ruled.

The apex court upheld this decision of the high court in its Monday ruling on the legality of MCOCA.

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