Tuesday, September 02, 2008 04:31 IST
Verdict will affect all pending cases
NEW DELHI: Providing a shot in the arm to investigating agencies, the Supreme Court on Monday held that the recorded telephone conversation of an accused is admissible as evidence under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
The matter had reached the apex court after the Bombay high court in 2003 had upheld the legality of the act but quashed provisions relating to interception of telephone conversations. Contending that the act was necessary to counter organised crime and syndicates run by the underworld, the Maharashtra government had appealed against the high court ruling.
Upholding the legality of sections 13, 14, 15 and 16 of the MCOCA, a bench of chief justice KG Balakrishnan and justices RV Raveendran and MK Sharma also restored the provisions the high court had struck down earlier.
Analysts are of the opinion that the judgment will have a direct bearing on all pending cases in which vital information or evidence obtained under MCOCA had not been included for the trial court’s consideration.
Noted lawyer Manoj Goel, who appeared in this case, says film financier and diamond merchant Bharat Shah, however, will not be affected by the judgment. Shah was charged under the act for having underworld links and the police had recorded alleged telephonic conversations between him and underworld don Shakeel. He was acquitted of MCOCA charges but convicted under the IPC for suppressing information from the police.