In a significant order, a Delhi court, for the first time in the city, has held six persons, including a husband and wife, guilty under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), since its invocation in the capital in 2002.
The six, who duped job seekers of lakhs by promising them jobs abroad, were awarded varying jail terms between 10 and 12 years.
“In the present case, all convicts were members of an organised crime syndicate led by convict Vipin Sharma. They were involved in more than 30 cases. The registration of criminal cases did not have any effect on the convicts and they unabatedly continued to indulge in unlawful activities in an organised manner. As members of an organised crime syndicate, they used violence and other unlawful means with the objective of gaining pecuniary benefits. They had cheated a number of persons of huge amounts,” Special Judge (MCOCA) Rakesh Syal said.
The judge handed 12 years of rigorous jail term to Vipin Sharma and also slapped a fine of Rs 55 lakh on him after holding him guilty under various sections of MCOCA and cheating.
The court, however, held Vipin’s wife Honey Sharma and brother Sachin Sharma, besides his associates Aman Alam, Harshad Alam and Bhupender Singh, guilty only under MCOCA and sentenced them to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.
The court has imposed a fine of Rs 14 lakh each on the five convicts.
It had ordered that out of the total fine amount, Rs 33.80 lakh be paid to nine people as compensation for the loss caused due to the cheating.
The court, while sentencing the convicts, also rejected their arguments that a lenient view be taken against them as they have stayed behind bars for over six years and have to look after their families, including ailing parents.
The counsel for the state, while referring to the objective for which MCOCA was enacted, had argued that maximum punishment be awarded to them so as to prevent further commission of crimes by them and to also act as a deterrent to other potential offenders.
The police had alleged that they had formed an organised crime syndicate for cheating various persons in order to gain pecuniary benefits, and had acquired a lot of illegal assets in Delhi and NCR.
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