The Court was hearing a petition filed by an undertrial through the jail urging for a direction to state government to set up adequate number of special courts to hear cases filed under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in Thane, Navi Mumbai, Raigad and Ratnagiri district.
Currently, there is only one special Court in Thane to hear MCOCA cases. As a result, MCOCA cases from Thane and the four nearby districts come up for hearing in Thane Court.
Justice A M Khanvilkar and Justice A R Joshi further directed the state to ensure that cases other than MCOCA were immediately transferred from the MCOCA Court in Thane to some other Courts so that the cases do not pile up in one Court.
Advocate Pankaj Kavale who appeared for the petitioner, Lakhan Naik, argued that it had come to his knowledge that there were 52 cases pending in MCOCA Court at Thane. He said there was instances to show that in some cases undertrials were languishing in jails since last eight years.
The petitioner contended that if separate MCOCA Courts were established in Navi Mumbai, Raigad and Ratnagiri districts then the cases would not be transferred to Thane MCOCA Court and this would result in speedy disposal of matters.
The petitioner argued that state government had not constituted the Review Committee to look into the cases filed against accused. Under the existing laws and Supreme Court guidelines, such committees should be regularly appointed to review the cases filed under MCOCA, he said.