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MCOCA accused granted bail in extortion case

Bombay High Court

Mumbai: Citing the delay in trial, the Bombay High Court has granted bail to a suspected member of Ravi Pujari gang who spent seven years in jail after he was charged under the stringent MCOCA for allegedy threatening a businessman to pay extortion money.

Justice Reveti Mohite-Dhere, while granting bail to Sadik alias Banta alias Salman Bangali on a bond of Rs one lakh recently, observed that the other accused in this case have been enlarged. Hence, the accused was being given liberty on the ground of parity.

The Judge also observed that the accused had already undergone more than half of the minimum sentence prescribed for the offence with which he is charged. Hence, he deserves to be enlarged on bail.

A case was registered in 2006 against the accused in Turbhe Police Station in Navi Mumbai for alleged offences punishable under provisions of Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

According to police, the accused along with co-accused Ravindra alias Ramu Bhausaheb Ghare had fired two rounds at the complainant in his office to demand extortion money in the name of Ravi Pujari, while the co-accused were standing outside.

The Judge observed that in the present case, all the co-accused, except Ravindra alias Ramu Bhausaheb Ghare, have been enlarged on bail.

“Moreover, the applicant has neither been identified or named by any witnesses. Also, there is no recovery at his instance. The material against him is identical to that of co-accused who have been enlarged on bail i.e. confessional statement of the co-accused and CDR records,” the Judge said.

Opposing the bail, the prosecution alleged that the applicant had scribbled a phone number on a chit and threw it in the office of the complainant. After firing two rounds, all the accused ran away. Accused Ravindra alias Ramu Bhausaheb Ghare, in a statement, allegedly confessed to the crime by giving a detailed account of the role played by each of the accused.

Defence lawyer S R Chitnis argued that the applicant has not been identified by any witnesses. Also identification parade was not held, nor is there any recovery at his instance of any weapon allegedly used in the commission of the offence.

Granting bail to accused, the court asked him to cooperate in the conduct of the trial and restrained him from leaving the limits of Mumbai and Thane district without the permission of trial court. He was also asked to deposit his passport, if any, with the investigating officer.

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