Mumbai: 'If Sanction Denied To Prosecute Under MCOCA, Accused Entitled To Bail', Says Bombay High Court

Mumbai: 'If Sanction Denied To Prosecute Under MCOCA, Accused Entitled To Bail', Says Bombay High Court

On December 13, the two sought default bail. The police filed the chargesheet on December 14.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, March 29, 2024, 02:35 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File pic

The Bombay High Court has said that once the competent authority refuses to grant sanction to prosecute accused under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), the extended period for completion of investigation would terminate on the day the sanction was declined. The accused in the case would hence be entitled to seek default bail.

The HC has granted default bail to Dinesh Indre, Pratik Bhojane and Ravi Yashvante after the competent authority refused to grant sanction to prosecute them under MCOCA. They had approached the HC through advocates Pankaj More and Nitin Kamble challenging the order of the trial court rejecting their bail pleas.

Chargesheet Filing Timeframes Suspicious

For offences registered under IPC, Arms Act and others, the police are given 30 days to file chargesheet. If they fail to file the chargesheet in the stipulated time, then the accused is entitled to get bail.

However, in cases registered under acts like MCOCA, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and NIA Act, the agencies are given 60 days to file the chargesheet and can be extended to 90 days.

Indre and Bhojane were arrested on September 2 last year, for allegedly robbing Rs1.25 crore from a man. Initially, they were arrested under the provisions of the IPC. Subsequently, MCOCA was added.

Attempted Default Bail Application After Chargesheet Filing

The police get an extension till December 18, 2023 to file the chargesheet. However, on December 12, the competent authority declined to grant sanction to prosecute them under MCOCA and the case was transferred to magistrate court.

On December 13, the two sought default bail. The police filed the chargesheet on December 14.

Legal Arguments Regarding Bail Rejection

The magistrate rejected the bail stating that the extended period to file chargesheet was till December 18.

Once the case has been sent back to the magistrate, the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure are applicable and not MCOCA. Hence, the order of extension of time does not survive to defeat the rights of the accused, More argued.

State advocate Ranjana Humane submitted that had the chargesheet been filed after the expiry of the extended time, then the accused would be entitled to seek default bail.

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