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“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”, said by the Bombay High Court.

A division bench of justices V M Kanade and P D Kode said, “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.”

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Maharashtra 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. Kaskar’s driver got shot and died.

In July last year, Paulson was granted bail on a surety of Rs one 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.

“Has the trial court while granting him bail (Paulson) observed that MCOCA is not attracted or that no case is made out? If not, then we will have to go into the evidence of the case,” According to Justice Kanade.

The state government’s petition will now be heard finally on January 22.

Under section 21(4) of MCOCA, an accused can be granted bail if the court is satisfied that there is reasonable doubt that the accused is not guilty of the alleged offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while he is out on bail.

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