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MCOCA will be slapped if and when required: state

The state government on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that so far evidence has not come on record to invoke the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act in the interstate car import racket case.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
February 25, 2009 12:36:20 am

Says no evidence has yet come on record to invoke MCOCA in interstate car import racket case

The state government on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that so far evidence has not come on record to invoke the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the interstate car import racket case. The issue had come to light after Bollywood actor Sushmita Sen evaded Octroi on her imported Land Cruiser car.

Earlier,the court had asked the state to consider invoking stringent provisions of the Act against the dealers and beneficiaries in the case.

The Additional Commissioner of Police of the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Crime Branch,Sanjay Saxena,in his affidavit has stated that “so far evidence has not yet come on record as per the provisions of MCOCA which requires that more than one chargesheet should have been filed within the preceding period of 10 years against a member of an organised crime syndicate”.

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“However,the investigation of the case is continuing and as and when the ingredients of the MCOCA are disclosed in this case,the application of provisions under the MCOCA will be decided as per the law,” the affidavit states.

Saxena states that the investigation is going to be widespread and a special team has been formed. According to him,the investigation with due diligence will be carried out by the Mumbai police to trace the importers,unknown car dealers and their associates.

As per the affidavit,three of the accused are still wanted. One of them is Rajesh Jethani who resides in UAE and the others are Kankaparambil Suresh and Saidalvi Moideen.

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It is further stated that analysis of the reports of 44 imported vehicles,received from the Customs offices and RTO,Mumbai,shows that the invoices of 37 vehicles submitted to the Customs authorities at various ports and invoices submitted to the RTO in Mumbai are different.

The police have also dispatched teams to Tanjore in Tamil Nadu and Kasargod in Kerala to trace the importers of the vehicles. Sushmita bought the car in 2005,but soon Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) sought a penalty of Rs 23 lakh from her for evading customs duty.

High Court,last year,had held that MCGM could not impose penalty as only a court of law could do that. The HC,then,had set aside the penalty but had asked the police to investigate the case. During the investigation,it was found that an interstate racket had brought the cars to India using ‘transfer of residence’ exemption.

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Investigations by the EOW led to the arrest of seven persons,including car dealer Haren Choksi and officials of the RTO. The police had,however,given Sushmita a clean chit and had not named her in the chargesheet.

The case has been adjourned for a week.

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First published on: 25-02-2009 at 12:36:20 am

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