Court discharges four chain-snatchers held under MCOCA
Comes as setback for cops in 1st case of such criminals being arrested under stringent act.
In a major setback to police in Pune, a special court has discharged four suspects arrested in chain-snatching crimes under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
In view of controlling such crimes that have, as police officers feel, turned out to be a big menace in Pune, cops had for the first time invoked such stringent action against the alleged perpetrators of such crimes.
In July 2012, Pune police invoked MCOCA against history-sheeters Sunil Laxman Gawli (25) of Bibvewadi, Angad Mahadev Gawli (24) of Kothrud, Pintya alias Rohidas Laxman Gupte (26) of Dhayari and Arun Vitthal Pawar (25) of Kothrud.
However, an order passed by S P Tavade, special judge under MCOCA, Pune, on January 8, 2013, has discharged all four of them held under sections of the MCOCA.
The court has also directed the investigation officer to file the chargesheet in this case in the court of judicial magistrate (first class). The Kothrud police had filed chargesheets against the four, showing their involvement in 10 chain snatching cases, including the one that happened near Kothrud depot on September 5, 2011.
Suspect Sunil Gawli filed an application before the MCOCA court that he was falsely booked in this case, as he was lodged in Yerwada jail since July 3, 2009 and came out on bail on September 29, 2011. Advocates Ibrahim Shaikh and Dattatraya Shinde, who represented the suspects, argued that Gawli was in Yerwada jail when the chain snatching happened on September 5, 2011. So he was not involved in this case.
"All four suspects were booked under Sections 392 and 34 of IPC and several Sections of MCOCA in the chain-snatching case of September 5, 2011, registered at Kothrud PS. But we proved that Gawli was in jail when this crime took place," advocate Shaikh said. But, the court also stated that Gawli's aides could have been involved in this crime and he may have got the share of the stolen valuables. According to police, gold chain robbed in the September 5 incident was recovered from the suspects.
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