A vegetable seller has been freed by a Delhi court, which slammed the police for invoking a stringent law meant to deal with criminal gangs and keeping him behind bars without evidence.
Rajeev, who was jailed for offences under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, was freed by Additional Session Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal in an order made available Tuesday.
“The investigating agencies are directed to be careful in future before invoking the provisions of the MCOCA against any individual without proper material and home work,” the court said.
Police arrested Rajeev in 2011 and claimed he was an associate of interstate gangster and contract killer Amit.
“The accused was only involved with accused Amit in a case at Haryana, in which he was acquitted on Oct 23, 2003. There is no other involvement of this accused, either prior to this FIR or after that with the syndicate or organised criminal gang,” the court said.
The court observed that Rajeev was earning a living from selling vegetables and cleaning utensils at marriage functions.
Judge Aggarwal said that during the investigations no evidence could be collected to establish any nexus between the organised crime syndicate, being run by accused Amit and Rajeev.
The judge added that the accused had not generated any wealth in association with the crime syndicate.
The court pulled up the investigating agency, saying that if the probe agencies were not sure about the wealth generated by the accused from the fruits of his crime, then, what was the hurry to invoke the stringent provisions of the MCOCA, as it is an extraordinary act which curtails the life and liberty of an individual.
“It is quite surprising that the investigating agencies despite their best efforts could not get any clue of the wealth generated by the accused, which they considered notorious criminal,” the court said.
According to investigators Amit was arrested Feb 22, 2006. During questioning, Amit revealed the name of his 31 associates, including Rajeev.