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Report No. 268

C. Organised Crime and Bail

8.14 Organised crime around the world branches out into smuggling of drugs and arms, human trafficking, labour racketeering, extortion and other illegal activities. The activities of a criminal organization do not cease with the arrest of perpetrators of crime or their release even on most stringent bail conditions. The court must recognize that such businesses have a strong incentive to continue. The danger such persons / businesses pose to the community is self-evident as it involves murder, violence and threats.

Hence stringent bail provisions are provided for in the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, 1999 ('MCOCA'). MCOCA is also applicable in the State of Delhi, and is the model for similar laws in various other States. The restrictions on bail under MCOCA are verbatim to those under TADA.212 MCOCA also provides for pre-trial detention up to ninety days. If the investigation is not complete within this time period, the Special Court shall extend the period up to one hundred and eighty days based on a report submitted by the public prosecutor indicating the progress of the investigation and the specific reasons for the detention beyond the said period of ninety days.213

8.15 In the case of Chenna Boyanna Krishna Yadav v. State of Maharashtra214, it was held that the power to grant bail under MCOCA is subject to conditions laid down in s. 21 (4) of the Act, which are over and above the conditions laid down in s. 439 of Cr.P.C. Section 21(4) of MCOCA provides the prosecution a chance to be heard, and the court must be satisfied that there exists a reasonable ground to believe that the person accused of an offence is not guilty of the alleged offence and such person is not likely to commit any offence while on bail, only then bail may be granted.

These conditions are cumulative and not alternative. In deciding on bail under MCOCA, the Supreme Court in Dattatray Krishnaji Ghule v. State of Maharashtra 215 has stated that it is not necessary to weigh the evidence meticulously to find positively if the appellant has committed the offences alleged. In setting the standard for bail under MCOCA the Supreme Court in Ranjit Singh Brahmajeet Singh Sharma v. State of Maharashtra,216 held that unless the Judge is satisfied that a conviction is not likely, which is a very high threshold, bail would not be granted. Thus, there must be higher standards for the bail to be granted under such special laws.217

Amendments to Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 - Provisions relating to Bail Back

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