At, High Court of Judicature at Bombay
By, THE HONOURABLE MRS. JUSTICE RANJANA DESAI & THE HONOURABLE MRS. JUSTICE MRIDULA BHATKAR
For the Petitioner: S.R. Chitnis, senior counsel with S.R. Pasbola and Rahul Arote, Advocates. For the Respondent: V.R. Dhond, special counsel with Ms. U.V. Kejariwal, A.P.P.
Smt. Ranjana Desai, J.
1. The petitioner is an accused in MCOC Special Case No.6 of 2009. In this petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner has prayed, inter alia, that directions be issued to the State of Maharashtra to establish a Review Committee on the lines of directions given by the Supreme Court in Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab, 1994 SCC (Cri.) 899 and as incorporated in POTA (Amendment) Act, 2003 (since repealed), so as to screen the abuse and misuse of the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, 1999 (?for short, ?MCOCA?), that all pending cases and newly registered cases be referred to a Review Committee and that it may be declared that the provisions of MCOCA are not attracted to the petitioner's case.
2. It is necessary to state certain facts for better appreciation of the rival submissions. The Terrorist & Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 (for short, ?TADA?) was enacted to make special provisions for the prevention of, and for coping with, terrorist and disruptive activities. In Kartar Singh, constitutional validity of TADA was challenged. Section 15 of TADA which made confession made by a person before a police officer not lower in rank than a Superintendent of Police admissible in evidence came under heavy attack. The Supreme Court agreed that it would be dangerous to make a statement given to a police officer admissible. The Supreme Court held that having regard to the legal competence of the legislature to make the law prescribing a different mode of proof, the meaningful purpose and object of the legislation, the gravity of terrorism unleashed by the terrorists endangering the sovereignty and integrity of the country and the normal life of the citizens, section 15 cannot be said to be suffering from the vice of unconstitutionality. However, the Supreme Court laid down guidelines so as to ensure that confession obtained in the pre-indictment interrogation is not tainted with any vice, but is in strict conformity with well-recognized and accepted aesthetic principles and fundamental fairness. The Supreme Court directed the Central Government to take note of the guidelines and incorporate them by appropriate amendments in TADA. In order to ensure higher level of scrutiny and applicability of TADA, the Supreme Court expressed that there must be Review Committee constituted by the Central Government. It is necessary to quote paragraph 265 of the judgment.
?265. In order to ensure higher level of scrutiny and applicability of TADA Act, there must be a screening Committee or a Review Committee constituted by the Central Government consisting of the Home Secretary, Law Secretary and other secretaries concerned of the various Departments to review all the TADA cases instituted by the Central Government as well as to have a quarterly administrative review, reviewing the States' action in the application of the TADA provisions in the respective States, and the incidental questions arising in relation thereto. Similarly, there must be a Screening or Review Committee at the State level constituted by the respective States consisting of the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, Law Secretary, Director General of Police (Law and Order) and other officials as the respective Government may think it fit, to review the action of the enforcing authorities under the Act and screen the cases registered under the provisions of the Act and decide the further course of action in every matter and so on.?
3. In Shaheen Welfare Association v. Union of India & Ors. (1996) 2 SCC 616, in a public interest litigation, certain directions were sought in respect of under-trial prisoners charged with offences under TADA. The Supreme Court, not being entirely satisfied with the functioning of the Review Committee expressed that a more independent and objective scrutiny of the cases by a Committee headed by a retired Judge is obviously necessary. We shall advert to this case a little later.
4. In 1995, TADA lapsed. The Prevention of Terrorism Ordinan
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
e, 2001 was promulgated on 24/10/2001. It was followed by the Prevention of Terrorism (Second) Ordinance promulgated on 30/12/2001. In 2002, the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (for short, ?POTA?) was enacted replacing Prevention of Terrorism (Second) Ordinance, 2001. Section 60 of POTA provided for a Review Committee. Sub-sections (4) to (6) were added to Section 60 of POTA by Prevention of Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance, 2003. The said ordinance was further amended by the Prevention of Terrorism (Amendment) Act, 2003 which inserted sub-sections (4) to (6) as also further sub-section (7) in Section 60. The amended Section 60 reads thus: ?60. Review Committees. - (1) The Central Government and each State Government shall, whenever necessary, constitute one or more Review Committee for the purposes of this Act.(2) Every such Committee shall consist of a Chairperson and such other members not exceeding three and possessing such qualifications as may be prescribed.(3) A Chairperson of the Committee shall be a person who is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court, who shall be appointed by the Central Government, or as the case may be, the State Government, so however, that the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court shall be obtained in the case of a sitting Judge:Provided that in the case of a Union Territory, the appointment of a person who is a Judge of the High Court of a State shall be made as a Chairperson with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court concerned?.(4) Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Act, any Review Committee constituted under subsection (1) shall, on an application by any aggrieved person, review whether there is a prima facie case for proceeding against the accused under this Act and issue directions accordingly. (5) Any direction issued under sub-section (4), -(i) by the Review Committee constituted by the Central Government, shall be binding on the Central Government, the State Government and the police officer investigating the offence; and(ii) by the Review Committee constituted by the State Government, shall be binding on the State Government and the police officer investigating the offence. (6) Where the reviews under subsection (4) relating to the same offence under this Act, have been made by a Review Committee constituted by the Central Government and a Review Committee constituted by the State Government, under sub-section (1), any direction issued by the Review Committee constituted by the Central Government shall prevail. (7) Where any Review Committee constituted under sub-section (1) is of opinion, that there is no prima facie case for proceeding against the accused and issues directions under sub-section (4), then, the proceedings pending against the accused shall be deemed to have been withdrawn form the date of such direction.? 5. In view of adverse report about misuse of POTA, Parliament repealed it by the Prevention of Terrorism (Repeal) Ordinance, 2004 on 21/9/2004 and replaced it by the Prevention of Terrorism (Repeal) Act, 2004 (for short, ?the Repealing Act?). Section 3 of the Repealing Act made it clear that notwithstanding the repeal of Section 60 of the principal Act, the Review Committee constituted by the Central Government under Sub-Section (1) of that Section shall review all cases registered under the principal Act and such review shall be completed within a period of one year from the commencement of the Repealing Act. Section 5 stated that the Central Government may constitute more Review Committees as it may consider necessary, for completing the review within the period specified in sub-Section (3).6. It is in short the case of the petitioner, as presented to us by Mr. Chitnis, learned senior counsel, that the provisions of MCOCA are drastic and perhaps more stricter than TADA. There are several cases of misuse of MCOCA and, therefore, the provisions of the Review Committee as incorporated in POTA and retained by the Repealing Act pursuant to the Supreme Court's directions in Kartar Singh be incorporated in MCOCA. 7. Counsel submitted that the Review Committee acts as a filter. TADA, POTA or MCOCA are draconian legislations. Though validity of MCOCA is upheld, its arbitrary, capricious and revengeful use must be prevented. It's misuse is evident from several orders of this court where this court has held that MCOCA was wrongly applied. Counsel has drawn our attention to following cases where according to him, MCOCA has been misused:(i) State of Maharashtra & Ors. v. Lalit Nagpal & Anr. (2007) 4 SCC 171, (ii) Madan s/o. Ramkisan Gangwani v. State of Maharashtra 2009 All M.R. (Cri.) 1447, (iii) Pradip Madgaonkar v. State of Maharashtra, 2007 (1) BCR (Cri.)337, (iv) Moh. Rizwan Mohd. Isaq @ Laddowala v. State of Maharashtra, 2005 All M.R. (Cri.) 2959, (v) Sherbahadur A. Khan v. State of Maharashtra, 2007 All M.R. (Cri.), (vi) State of Maharashtra v. Bharat Baburao Gavhane 2006 All M.R. (Cri.) 2895 and(vii) unreported decisions of this court in Criminal Appeal No.1040 of 2006 and Criminal Appeal No.667 of 2009. 8. Counsel laid stress on the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in Kartar Singh to the police for the purpose of recording confessional statements under Sections 15 of TADA to secure fundamental fairness. Counsel pointed out that the Central Government was directed to incorporate them by appropriate amendments in TADA and in the rules. Counsel pointed out that the Supreme Court directed constitution of Review Committee of high officials to review the cases so as to ensure higher level of scrutiny and applicability of TADA. Drawing our attention to Shaheen Welfare Association, counsel submitted that in this case the Supreme Court referred to Kartar Singh and held that the need of Review Committee is borne out by the cases disclosed in the annexure to the affidavit where TADA ought not to have been applied. Counsel submitted that in this case, the Supreme Court went on to observe that a more independent and objective scrutiny of the cases by a committee headed by a retired Judge is necessary. Counsel submitted that this judgment was in the field when MCOCA was enacted and, therefore, the State should have taken note of it. Provision for Review Committee ought to have been incorporated in MCOCA. Counsel submitted that Section 18 of MCOCA makes certain confessions made to police officers admissible. It is similar to Section 15 of TADA. While enacting MCOCA, the legislature incorporated the important guidelines laid down in Kartar Singh for the purpose of recording confessional statements. The legislature should have therefore also made provision for a Review Committee as directed in Kartar Singh and which was followed while enacting the amended POTA. 9. Counsel submitted that the argument that there are sufficient safeguards in Section 23 of MCOCA namely prior approval of the police officer not below the rank of the Deputy Inspector General of Police before recording of information about the commission of an offence of organized crime and the condition that no court shall take cognizance of the offence under MCOCA without the previous sanction of the police officer below the rank of Additional Director General of Police, to prevent abuse of MCOCA must be rejected. Similar provision of approval and sanction was there in TADA also, yet the Supreme Court directed constitution of a Review Committee. Counsel submitted that in any case the so called safeguards have not been able to prevent abuse of MCOCA. 10. In this connection, counsel relied on Dwarka Nath v. Income-tax Officer, AIR 1966 SC 81 where the Supreme Court has observed that Article 226 is couched in comprehensive phraseology and it ex facie confers a wide power on the High Court to reach injustice wherever it is found. Counsel also relied on Deepak Bajaj v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 2009 SC 628 where the Supreme Court has observed that under Article 32 and Article 226 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court and the High Court can issue writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, certiorari, etc. They can also issue orders and directions apart from issuing writs and their powers are not subject to traditional restrictions on the powers of the Supreme Court and the High Court. Reliance was also placed on the Supreme Court judgment in Public Union for Civil Liberties & Ors. v. Union of India (1997) 1 SCC 301. Counsel also relied on a judgment of a Division Bench of this court to which one of us (Smt. Ranjana Desai, J.) was a party in Govind @ Bhai Ganesh Tilve v. Vikram Kumar & Ors. 2009 All M.R. (Cri.) 2389 where this court has translated Election Commission of India's suggestions into guidelines. Counsel also relied on Vishakha & Ors. v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. (1997) 6 SCC 241, where, to provide for the effective enforcement of the basic human right of gender equality and guarantee against sexual harassment and abuse, more particularly at workplaces, the Supreme Court laid down guidelines and norms. Counsel also relied on Sheela Bave v. State of Maharashtra AIR 1983 SC 378, Som Mittal v. Government of Karnataka (2008) 3 SCC 753 and Securities & Exchange Board of India v. Libra Plantation Limited & Ors. 1998 (4 L.J. 421. Counsel submitted that, therefore, there are no fetters on the powers of this court preventing it from directing constitution of a Review Committee. Written submissions filed by Mr. Chitnis on legal points have been taken on record.11. On merits of the case, Mr. Chitnis has submitted another set of submissions. We, however, find that these submissions revolve around validity of a sanction. It is stated that in the satisfaction recorded in the sanction, it is averred that the sanctioning authority was satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to prove continuous unlawful activities of the organized crime syndicate headed by accused Deepak Walekar and his associates and more than one charge-sheets have been filed against them within the last ten years. Relying on the judgment of this court in Madan Ramkisan Gangwani, it is stated that organized crime is constituted by at least one instance of continuation, apart from continuing unlawful activity evidenced by more than one charge-sheets in the preceding ten years. However, in this case, sanction is for prosecution of a continuous unlawful activity. It is submitted that what is punishable under Section 3 is `organized crime' and not `continuing unlawful activity'. Continuing unlawful activity as stated in Section 2(d) is an ingredient of Section 2(e) of MCOCA which defines `organized crime'. Continuing unlawful activity evidenced by more than one charge-sheets is one of the ingredients of the offence of organized crime. It is submitted that since sanction is not for taking cognizance of `organized crime' as defined in Section 2(e), the sanction must be set aside.12. Relying on Rambhai Nathabhai Gadhvi v. State of Gujarat 1997 Cr. L.J. 4086 (S.C.), it is submitted that valid sanction is a sine qua non for the prosecution and if there is no valid sanction prosecution cannot be initiated. Reliance is also placed on Lalit Nagpal, Ranjitsingh Brahmajeetsingh Sharma v. State of Maharashtra, 2005 Cri.L.J. 2533 and Sherbhahadur Akram Khan v. State of Maharashtra 2007 (1) BCR (Cri.) 26.13. Mr. Dhond, learned counsel who appears for the State has submitted written submissions which we have taken on record. Mr. Dhond submitted that the petitioner wants this court to direct the State to amend valid state legislation or to enact additional legislation which it cannot do. Mr. Dhond submitted that MCOCA contains several provisions and mechanism to prevent its misuse. Section 23 thereof has been described as a filter by the Supreme Court in Vinod Asrani v. State of Maharashtra (2007) 3 SCC 633 and by this court in Pradeep Madgaonkar v. State of Maharashtra 2007 (1) Bom.C.R. (Cri) 337. Comparing the provisions of TADA and MCOCA, counsel submitted that TADA was a more stringent law than MCOCA.14. Counsel submitted that the decision not to include Review Committee is consciously taken. The majority of the members of the State Level Committee to review MCOCA did not favour the introduction of the Review Committee. However, all the three members were unanimous that there was no misuse of MCOCA. 15. Counsel submitted that the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of MCOCA. The legislative policy is in the exclusive domain of the State. The nature and extent of safeguards and/or protections which ought to be introduced in a statute is a matter of policy in which the court cannot interfere. In this connection, he relied on C.S.T. v. Mangal Sen Shyam Lal (1975) 4 SCC 35, State of West Bengal v. E.I.T.A. India Ltd. (2003) 5 SCC 239, Duncan Industries Ltd. v. Union of India (2006) 3 SCC 129, Karnataka Bank Ltd. v. State of A.P. & Ors. (2008) 2 SCC 254. He also relied on State of A.P. v. McDowell & Co. (1996) 3 SCC 709, Asif Hamid & Ors. v. State of J. & K. & Ors. 1989 Supp. (2) SCC 364 and State of U.P. & Anr. v. Johri Mal (2004) 4 SCC 714 on the question whether courts can sit in judgment over legislative competence. 16. Counsel submitted that it is well settled that the Court cannot direct the State to legislate. In this connection, he relied on State of Himachal Pradesh v. A parent of a student (1985) 3 SCC 169, Narinder Chand Lt. Governor v. A.U.T.H.P. & Ors. 1971 (2) SCC 747, State of A.P. v. T. Gopalkrishnan Murthi (1976) 2 SCC 883, State of J. & K. v. A.R. Zakk I 1992 (Supp.) (1) SCC 548, State of Karnataka v. State of A.P. & Ors. (2000) 9 SCC 572, Municipal Committee Patiala v. Model Town Resident's Association & Ors. (2007) 8 SCC 669 and Common Cause (A. Regd. Society) v. Union of India (2008) 5 SCC 511. 17. Counsel submitted that none of the cases on which reliance is placed by the petitioner help him. We shall advert to this argument when we approach this point. 18. Counsel submitted that what the Supreme Court did in Kartar Singh was in exercise of the extra-ordinary jurisdiction constitutionally conferred on that court under Article 142(1) of the Constitution. Powers of the High Court under Article 226 are not on par with the constitutional jurisdiction conferred on the Supreme Court under Article 142. In this connection, reliance was placed on State of H.P. & Ors. v. Mahendra Pal & Anr. 1995 Supp. (2) SCC 731, Johri Mal and State of Haryana v. Naresh Kumar Bali (1994) 4 SCC 448. 19. Counsel submitted that directions issued under Article 142 are not law under Article 141. In this connection, he relied on J & K Public Service Commission & Ors. v. Dr. Narinder Mohan & Ors. (1994) 2 SCC 630.20. Counsel submitted that in most cases cited by the appellant, MCOCA was erroneously applied because of lack of clarity amongst enforcement agencies on the interpretation and meaning to be placed on the words / expressions ?organized crime?, ?organized crime syndicate?, ?with the object of gaining pecuniary benefits?. They do not cover cases of abuse of MCOCA. So far as Tilve is concerned, counsel submitted that that case has no application to the present case. In that case, the court passed an order invitum and, hence, it cannot be treated as a precedent. 21. On the merits of the case, it is submitted that application of MCOCA is perfectly justified. It is clearly evident from the material on record that the petitioner and the members of the Pandav Putra Gang indulge in organized crime for gaining pecuniary benefits. It is submitted that sanction is perfectly legal because there was enough material before the sanctioning authority to form its opinion and the sanction is issued after due application of mind and, therefore, Rambhai Gadhvi and Lalit Nagpal have no application to this case. It is submitted that Gangwani also has no application to this case. Mr. Dhond submitted that in the circumstances, the petition be dismissed.22. In our opinion, the core issue in this case is whether we can grant prayer ?b? of the petition. By that prayer, the petitioner is seeking a direction from this court to the State Government to establish / constitute a Review Committee so as to screen the abuse of MCOCA. Indirectly, the petitioner is asking this court to direct the legislature either to amend MCOCA or to enact a new law. Having perused the number of judgments to which our attention is drawn by Mr. Dhond, we are of the opinion that we cannot issue such a direction. It is not necessary to burden this judgment with all the judgments. We may refer to a few of them. 23. In the State of Himachal Pradesh v. A parent of a student, a guardian of a student had addressed a letter to the Chief Justice of the High Court complaining about ragging of his son. The High Court treated the letter as a writ petition and directed the State Government to constitute an anti-ragging committee and called for its report. The report suggested that the State Government should initiate a legislation in regard to ragging as early as possible. The High Court directed the State Government to file an affidavit setting out further action taken in the direction of the implementation of that recommendation. The Supreme Court disapproved of the High Court's approach and observed that the High Court was clearly in error in issuing the direction in question as it was indirect attempt to compel the State Government to initiate legislation against ragging which it was not entitled to do. It was not a matter within the sphere of the function and duties allocated to the judiciary under the Constitution. The Supreme Court further observed that the court can compel the executive to carry out its constitutional and legal obligations, but at the same time, it cannot assume the functions assigned to the executive and the legislature under the Constitution. It cannot even indirectly require the executive to introduce a particular legislation or the legislature to pass it or assume to itself a supervisory role over the law making activities of the executive and the legislature.24. In M/s. Narinder Chand, the appellant was aggrieved by the fact that despite assurance given by the Deputy Commissioner, Simla, that no sales tax would be payable on Indian made foreign liquor, the Government levied and collected it from the appellant. It was urged that till reorganization of Punjab in 1956, Simla was a part of Punjab. As per Section 6(1) of the Punjab Sales Tax Act, 1948, tax was not payable on the sale of goods specified in Schedule ?B?. Till 31/8/1966, Indian made foreign liquor was in Schedule ?B?. But, on that date, the Government of Punjab in exercise of powers conferred under proviso to Section 5 of the Punjab Sales Tax Act deleted Indian made foreign liquor from Schedule ?B? and included it in Schedule ?A?. From that date, Indian made foreign Liquor became exigible to sales tax. This was the law in force in the Punjab when reorganization took place. Hence, Simla and other areas which were formerly part of undivided Punjab continued to be governed by that law even after reorganization. Appellant sought a direction from the court to the Competent Authority to delete the concerned entry from Schedule ?A? and include it in Schedule ?B?. While rejecting this prayer, the Supreme Court observed -?The power to impose a tax is undoubtedly a legislative power. That power can be exercised by the legislature directly or subject to certain conditions. The legislature may delegate that power to some other authority. But the exercise of that power whether by the legislature or by its delegate is an exercise of a legislative power. The fact that the power was delegated to the executive does not convert that power into an executive or administrative power. No court can issue a mandate to a legislature to enact a particular law. Similarly, no court can direct a subordinate legislative body to enact or not to enact a law which it may be competent to enact?. In view of the clear view expressed by the Supreme Court, it is not possible for us to assume the role of the legislature or to issue directions to the legislature to legislate. 25. We have already noted that the petitioner is trying to draw support from the fact that in Kartar Singh while dealing with TADA, the Supreme Court laid down guidelines so as to ensure that the confessions obtained in the pre-indictment interrogation by a police officer are not tainted but they are in conformity with fundamental fairness. The Supreme Court also directed the constitution of a Review Committee. Thereafter, TADA lapsed. In POTA, a provision was made for a Review Committee. While enacting MCOCA, the legislature incorporated the important guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in Kartar Singh in regard to recording of confessional statements. Therefore, it is urged that Kartar Singh is a law declared by the Supreme Court within the meaning of Article 141 of the Constitution which is binding on all courts. It is argued that the State should have incorporated provisions for Review Committee in MCOCA in deference to Kartar Singh, but since it has not done so this court can issue similar directions as were issued under Article 141 of the Constitution and direct the State to enact such a provision.26. In our opinion, the Supreme Court has issued guidelines in Kartar Singh in exercise of extraordinary jurisdiction conferred on it under Article 142(1) of the Constitution. We are afraid that we cannot issue any such directions in our jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution as these powers are not comparable to the extra-ordinary powers of the Supreme Court under Article 142(1) of the Constitution.27. In Naresh Kumar Bali, the High Court had issued an order directing the State to appoint the respondent as Inspector of Police within three months. Disapproving the High Court's direction, the Supreme Court observed that the High Court could have merely directed consideration of the claim of the respondent in accordance with rules. It could not have directed appointment. Such a direction does not fall within the scope of Mandamus. The Supreme Court observed that judicial review is against the decision making process and not against the decision itself. The Supreme Court clarified that the exercise of extraordinary jurisdiction conferred upon the Supreme Court under Article 142(1) of the Constitution can be of no guidance to the scope of Article 226 of the Constitution. 28. In State of H.P. & Ors. v. Mahendra Pal & Anr. 1995 (Supp.) (2) SCC 731, the High Court had restrained the Himachal Pradesh Government from enforcing the Himachal Pradesh Kutlehar Forest (Acquisition of Management) Act, 1992. The Supreme Court held that the High Court was not justified in restraining the State Government from implementing the provisions of the Act passed by Parliament. The Supreme Court observed that while exercising the power under Article 142, it had suspended the operation of Gudalur Jarmon Estates (Abolition & Conversion of Ryotwari) Act which power is not available to the High Court. 29. It is clear, therefore, that in exercise of our jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, we cannot issue directions to the State to amend MCOCA or enact a new law making provision for a review Committee. Kartar Singh cannot be read as laying down a proposition that the High Courts are empowered to pass orders extending guidelines issued by it to other statutes which the High Courts regard as being in pari materia with TADA.30. We notice that in none of the cases on which counsel for the petitioner has placed reliance to contend that the direction sought by the petitioner can be issued by us in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, any direction was issued to the legislature to enact a law.31. In Dwarka Nath, the Supreme Court was considering a challenge to an order passed by the authorities exercising powers and functions under the Income Tax Act. The Supreme Court observed that under Article 226, the High Court could also issue directions or writs other than prerogative writs. But, the Supreme Court did not consider the issue whether the High Court could issue a writ or direction against the legislature. In Sheila Barse, also this question did not arise for consideration. The Supreme Court held that legal assistance to indigent persons was a constitutional imperative and, therefore, issued directions to I.G. of Prisons. No directions were issued against the State Government.32. In the case of P.U.C.L., the Supreme Court as a pro tem measure, pending the Central Government prescribing a procedure issued direction prescribing and/or regulating the procedure to be followed by executive functionaries in matters of telephone tapping, because there was no statutory provision in the field. However, no directions were issued to the legislature. 33. In Som Mittal, the Supreme Court noted that the High Court had on several occasions requested the State Government to issue an ordinance to restore provisions for anticipatory bail but the requests had fallen on deaf ears. The Supreme Court, however, went on to observe that there was no doubt that recommendation of the court is not binding on the State Government. The Supreme Court made similar recommendation but no direction was given to the legislature. Deepak Bajaj merely reiterates that the power of the High Court to issue writs is wider than the English Court. It does not lay down the proposition canvassed by the petitioner.34. In Vishakha, the Supreme Court issued guidelines to prevent sexual harassment at workplaces. The Supreme Court made it clear that what it was doing was in exercise of its power under Article 32 for the enforcement of fundamental rights. The Supreme Court made it further clear that the guidelines issued by it would be treated as the law declared by the Supreme Court under Article 141 and the guidelines were to be in operation until a legislation is enacted for the purpose. It must be remembered that the Supreme Court issued the guidelines because there was no law in the field. There was a vacuum. In this case, there is no vacuum. MCOCA is in the field. The petitioner may want certain amendments to be made to MCOCA to make it an ideal statute but for that no direction can be issued by us to the legislature. We have already noted that our powers under Article 226 are not comparable to the powers of the Supreme Court under Articles 141 and 142 of the Constitution. Vishakha is not applicable to the present case. 35. Reliance placed on Tilve by the petitioner is misplaced. In that case, this court passed order in invitum. The order was passed at the request of Election Commission of India. Its suggestions were crystallized into guidelines. The guidelines were only directed against executive functionaries. In view of the above, it is not possible for us to direct the State Government to amend MCOCA to provide for a Review Committee or to direct it to enact a new law for that purpose. 36. On the merits of the case, it is urged in the petition that MCOCA has been applied mala fide and the facts and circumstances do not make out a case for invoking the provisions of MCOCA. It is submitted that there are no previous charge-sheets filed against the petitioner. It is submitted that there is no material to indicate that the petitioner is a member of the gang headed by accused 1 Deepak Walekar or that he acted on behalf of the organized crime syndicate of Deepak Walekar. Reliance is placed on Bharat Gavhane to contend that apart from stating that a gang leader and his associates run a crime syndicate with a view to gaining pecuniary benefits, there must be some more material even at the prima facie stage to justify application of MCOCA. Relying on Gangwani it is submitted that filing of two charge-sheets is not sufficient. That is only one of the ingredients of the offence of organized crime. There has to be something more than that. The activities must be indulged in for pecuniary benefits. It is submitted that all the important ingredients are absent in this case. It is submitted that the sanction order indicates non-application of mind and, hence, application of MCOCA to this case be set aside.37. The sanction order is dated 20/6/2009. It is annexed to the petition. Its perusal indicates that the Investigating Officer had submitted papers of investigation of C.R. No.42 of 2009 and C.R. No.55 of 2009 before the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai. The Commissioner of Police, Mumbai has gone through the said papers and the reports enclosed with the proposal and issued the sanction order. The proposal order is dated 31/3/2009 and the sanction order is dated 20/6/2009. This time gap indicates that as stated in the sanction order, the Commissioner of Police has gone through the material placed before him.38. It is stated in the sanction order that the arrested accused are members of the gang headed by Deepak Walekar and they indulge in unlawful activities for pecuniary gain to themselves and others. It is stated that more than one charge-sheet have been filed against the organized crime syndicate headed by Deepak Walekar and his associates. Prima facie, we are of the opinion that sanction order is issued after proper application of mind. In any case, if the petitioner wants to contend that there is no application of mind, he can always raise that issue in the trial court. The prosecution can then lead evidence to prove to the contrary. Law in this regard is well settled. We may only refer to Gokulchand Dwarkadas v. The King, AIR 1948 Privy Counsel 82, where the Privy Counsel has observed that the sanction for prosecution would be good if it was proved by evidence that it had been granted after all the necessary facts had been placed before the sanctioning authority though those facts might not have been stated on the face of the sanction itself. This view has been endorsed by the Supreme Court in Feroz Din & Ors. v. State of West Bengal, AIR 1960 SC 363. 39. In State of Rajasthan v. Tarachand Jain, 1974 (3) SCC 72, the Supreme Court observed that the burden of proof that the requisite sanction had been obtained rests upon the prosecution. The burden includes proof that sanctioning authority had given the sanction in reference to the facts on which the proposed prosecution was to be based. These facts might appear on the face of the sanction or it might be proved by independent evidence that sanction was accorded for prosecution after those facts had been placed before the sanctioning authority. 40. On behalf of the State, affidavit is filed by Ashok Duraphe, Assistant Commissioner of Police, D-1 (South), D.C.B., C.I.D., Brihan Mumbai. From this affidavit, it appears to be the case of the respondents that the petitioner has nexus with the notorious Pandav Putra gang headed by Deepak Walekar. It appears that he collects money on behalf of the gang. He was caught red-handed with part payment of extortion money of Rs.2 lakhs. This organized crime syndicate has committed several offences in the past ten years of which cognizance has been taken by the court. This is, therefore, not a case where we can quash the approval and the sanction order in our jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. We are unable to hold that MCOCA is invoked mala fide. Judgments relied upon by the petitioner are of no use to the petitioner at this stage. Needless to say that they can be cited in the trial court at the appropriate time if the petitioner so desires. 41. Judgments of the Supreme Court and of this court where the application of MCOCA has been held to be improper and illegal have been cited before us as illustrations of misuse of MCOCA. While it is argued that in those cases, MCOCA was applied mala fide, it is contended on behalf of the respondents that those are cases where MCOCA was wrongly applied. We cannot discuss the facts of the cases cited before us which have been finally decided by the Supreme Court or this court. It is possible that in some cases, the inability of the investigating agency to understand the scope of MCOCA, its inability to understand the meaning and sweep of the terms of MCOCA may lead to its wrong application. But, the possibility of its misuse despite the inbuilt provisions of approval and sanction also cannot be ruled out. It cannot be forgotten that in Kartar Singh, the Supreme Court directed the State Government to constitute a Review Committee to review cases where TADA was applied, though provision for approval and sanction was there in TADA.42. Affidavit filed by Mr. Prem Jain, Principal Secretary to the Government of Maharashtra, Home Department indicates that the State Government had appointed a Committee under the Chairmanship of Justice C.S. Dharmadhikari (Retd.) along with Mr. Satish Sahaney, retired Director General of Police and Mr. D. Shivanandan, Commissioner of Police, Nagpur, as its members to consider various issues relating to MCOCA. The Chairman of the Committee (Justice Dharmadhikari) recommended the constitution of Review Committee however other two members felt that there was no need of a Review Committee. It is submitted before us that decision not to have a Review Committee is consciously taken. 43. For the reasons which we have elaborated hereinabove, we are of the confirmed opinion that we cannot issue a direction to the State Government to amend the law or to enact a law and provide for a Review Committee. We, however, feel that if a provision for Review Committee is made, the State will not be at a disadvantage. Constitution of a High Powered Review Committee as recommended by the Supreme Court in Shaheen Welfare Association will prevent a possible wrong use or misuse of MCOCA. It will be a welcome step. We may not however be understood to have directed the State Government to enact a law providing for the Review Committee, because whether such a law should be enacted or not is a matter which lies entirely within the legislative domain upon which we do not want to trench. 44. Before parting, we must note the scathing attack made by Mr. Chitnis on the affidavits in reply filed in this petition. Counsel drew our attention to the affidavit of Mr. Duraphe, to which we have made a reference earlier. Counsel submitted that very important and crucial averments made in the petition have not been replied by Mr. Duraphe and, therefore, adverse inference needs to be drawn against the investigating agency. Counsel drew our attention to order dated 9/11/2009 passed by the Division Bench of this court presided over by Justice J.N. Patel wherein the Division Bench has expressed displeasure about the manner in which Additional Public Prosecutors, who are in charge of cases, are frequently changed causing delay in disposal of cases and inconvenience to the court and to the litigants. By the said order costs of Rs.10,000/- have been imposed on the State. The costs were directed either to be deposited in the court or to be paid to the petitioner. A cheque dated 15/2/2010 for Rs.10,000/- has been deposited by the State pursuant to this order with the Registrar (Judicial) of this court. 45. We find substance in Mr. Chitnis' submission. The affidavits could have been drafted in a better manner. Undoubtedly, some averments have not been dealt with. This again appears to be the result of frequent transfer of the brief from one prosecutor to the other. Lot of care needs to be taken while preparing affidavits. However, because the affidavit filed by the State is not upto the mark, the application of MCOCA to the petitioner cannot be quashed. Prima facie, we are of the opinion that there is justification for application of MCOCA and drawbacks in the affidavit do not have any adverse impact on it. In the peculiar circumstances of the case and considering the observations of the Division Bench in its order dated 9/11/2009, we are of the opinion that costs of Rs.10,000/- must be paid to the petitioner. Hence, the following order:46. The Registrar (Judicial-I) is directed to hand over cheque dated 15/2/2010 for Rs.10,000/- issued by the State of Maharashtra to the petitioner or his counsel immediately. The petition is disposed of in the aforestated terms.
"2010 (112) BOM.L.R 2547" == "2010 (4) AIR (Bom) R 120" == "2010 (2) BCR(Cri) 542" == "2010 CrLJ 3568"