MCOCA charge on son may be due to father’s history: HC

Raicha is a Thane-based lawyer.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | Mumbai | Updated: April 16, 2014 11:06 am

Hearing the bail application of a 21-year-old engineering student facing charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,Bombay High Court on Wednesday observed that there was a possibility of the student having been implicated in the case owing to his father’s background.

Shalim Nachan,a third-year electrical engineering student in a Navi Mumbai college,was arrested on August 28,2012 at the Bhiwandi court when he came to meet his father Saquib Nachan,who was arrested for an alleged attempt to murder a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) member,Manoj Raicha.

Raicha is a Thane-based lawyer.

In an FIR lodged at the Nizampura police station on August 4,2012,Raicha had claimed that he had been fired at the previous day at 10.45 pm near a dispensary in Bhiwandi. Shalim had not been named in the FIR. However,Saquib was arrested the same day from his residence in Bhiwandi.

It was Raicha’s case that Saquib and one Mulla — arrested for the murder of two VHP members Lalit Jain and Suresh Sherekar in 2002 — had threatened him in a Thane court that he would be eliminated next. Claiming to be a member of the Gowvansh Saurakshan Samiti,he said he had taken animals brought for sacrifice during Muslim festivals into “safe custody”. He said this was why Saquib was upset with him,and had decided to kill him.

In 2008,Saquib was,however,acquitted in the murder cases of Jain and Sherekar.

Saquib had earlier been arrested in October 1992,and sentenced by the Supreme Court to 10 years in prison under TADA. He was released in 2001,but arrested in 2003 in connection with the Mulund train blast. He was granted bail in 2011.

Justice A M Thipsay said on Wednesday,“The possibility cannot be ruled out that he (Shalim) may have been implicated because of his father.”

Shalim’s lawyer Rebecca Gonsalves told the court that he has no criminal antecedents and had been wrongly booked for a “terrorist act” under the UAPA. Shalim contended that the police had nothing in their chargesheet to show that he was a part of a “crime syndicate” as required under MCOCA. Shalim contended that he was made to bear the brunt of being Saquib’s son.

“The application of MCOCA also looks doubtful,” Justice Thipsay said.

Additional public prosecutor A S Gadkari told the court that the government can justify the application of each special enactment in Shalim’s case. The court has sought an affidavit from the investigating officer stating the precise allegations against Shalim,along with supporting material. The case will be heard again on April 30.

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