Mcoca was meant to finish off the mafia dons. But a two-month investigation by Ajit Sahi and Rana Ayyub has found that the police have failed to get the big fish convicted for the crimes
Last week, TEHELKA brought its readers the shocking tale of misuse and abuse of one of India’s most draconian laws, the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA). Legislated in 1999, the law aimed at curbing the menace of underworld crimes of extortion, murder and money laundering, especially in Mumbai, which had spiralled out of control as was evident in the daylight attacks and even killings of politicians, businessmen and film personalities.
The police now claim that MCOCA helped put down the mafias over the last nearly 11 years of the law’s operation. The sad truth, however, is that this law has turned out to be one of India’s harshest anti-crime measures. Innumerable innocent lives have been devastated from long incarcerations in jails because the law allows confessions of the accused made before police officers to be admissible as evidence, and makes bail virtually impossible to obtain.
Last week we profiled eight such accused who spent a long time behind bars before being declared innocent. This week are profiled four more accused, who the police claim are proven gangsters. If that’s true, then MCOCA has proved entirely useless, as three of them have walked free.