Mumbai: Crime branch fails to get MCOCA sanction against gangster Ravi Pujari in 2010 extortion case

The crime branch failed to secure sanction under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) to prosecute gangster Ravi Pujari in a 2010 extortion case of a builder, in which two of his men had allegedly shot at an employee of the builder in a bid to compel him into submitting to his ransom demands.

On 28 June, the investigating officer in the case made an application before a special MCOCA court handling the remand in the case, for the case papers to be sent to the Esplanade magistrate court. The officer also filed a copy of refusal of sanction.

The prosecution informed the court that though the offences under MCOCA have been invoked against Pujari, the competent authority under the Act has refused to accord sanction to file chargesheet against him under MCOCA. As the 90 days stipulated period for filing the chargesheet would end on 1 July, it sought that permission be granted to send the case and papers to a magistrate court. Special judge AT Wankhede permitted the plea.

In the incident on 30 June 2010, two men of Pujari had allegedly approached a sales executive of Concorde builders in the office located in the premises of the Sagar City project in Andheri West. The executive, taking them for customers, had let them in. One of them had fired at him and the bullet had grazed him. Both men had fled without a word. Within a short time, a phone call came from Pujari on the office’s landline in which the gangster is said to have stated that the firing took place on his order and that the builder should answer his calls. The DN Nagar police station had booked offence of attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and extrortion under the IPC as well as involved MCOCA against the three accused arrested in September that year. A special MCOCA court had then dropped the charges of MCOCA against them on technical grounds. While the main accused had been convicted, two others had got acquittal. As per the prosecution's case, Pujari had sent his men the address of the crime spot and had sent money to one of them through another accused, who had turned an approver in the case.

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