Indian Mujahideen Case: Bombay HC Orders Re-Adjudication of Accused Plea to Drop MCOCA Charges


Shivani Thakur

Published on: May 5, 2022 at 17:06 IST

The Bombay High Court has directed the Special Court to Re-Adjudicate the Plea of an Accused seeking to drop charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against 23 men arrested over 13-14 years ago in the Indian Mujahideen Case.

The Case pertains to emails being sent out to various news media houses before a series of blasts took place in Delhi, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad in 2008.

Since the application was admittedly pending and remained unheard, as specifically noted by the Trial Court in the impugned order, we are of the opinion that Appellant’s valuable right is jeopardized,” the Bench said.

The Accused contended that the order of framing of charges on December 10, 2013 does not show that the accused were heard on the point of charge before it was framed, and “Thus the same is in Violation of the Provisions of Section 227 and 228 of the Criminal Procedure Code”.

The Court then granted the Accused liberty to file a fresh Application for quashing of the charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

The Court directed the Prosecution to file a Reply within 4 weeks and the Trial Court to decide the Application within a period of sixteen weeks.

In this Case, Mubin Kadar Shaikh, along with 22 Accused was arrested between 2008-09 and has been charged with Criminal Conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code as well as Offences under the Arms Act, Explosives Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

Shaikh approached the High Court refusing to drop Sections 3(1)(ii), 3(2) and 3(4) of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 in Sessions Case No. 4 of 2015 on the ground that there was no Prima Facie material to frame Charges against the Applicants under the said Provisions.

Advocate Mubin Solkar contended an Application for quashing Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act was wrongly disposed of without being heard on merits and charges were framed in Violation of Provisions.

The Bench observed that the Court is empowered to add or alter a charge at any time before the Judgment is pronounced and even after the charges have been framed, the Court couldn’t have disposed of Shaikh’s Plea saying it didn’t survive.

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