HC to look into MCOCA provisions for granting bail

The Bombay High Court on Monday said it will have to look into the provision under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) which says an accused can be granted bail if there is reasonable doubt that he or she did not commit the offence.

"The provision says there has to be reasonable doubt that the accused has not committed the offence. But the Act does not define the extent of this 'reasonable doubt'. We will have to see it," a division bench of justices V M Kanade and P D Kode said.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by the state government, challenging the bail granted by a special MCOCA court to Paulson Joseph Palitra, an accused in the murder case of Arif Abubakar Sayyed, the driver of fugitive Dawood Ibrahim's brother Iqbal Kaskar.

According to prosecution, Paulson and seven others, all members of gang run by Chhota Rajan, had opened fire at Kaskar's vehicle on May 17 last year. In July 2011, Paulson was granted bail on a surety of Rs 1 lakh by the lower court.

However, he is still in jail as he is also an accused in the murder case of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey.

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