MCOCA court acquits three men in 17-year-old armed dacoity case in Thane

 A special court here on Thursday acquitted three persons tried under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in a 17-year-old case of armed dacoity, saying the prosecution has failed to prove charges against them beyond reasonable doubts.

Those acquitted by the court were Rajesh Poojari, 44, Rafique Sheikh, 51 and Ghanashyam Yadav, 53.

In a judgement delivered in an open court, special MCOCA Judge AN Sirsikar held that the prosecution has failed to prove all charges against the accused beyond reasonable doubts and hence they are being acquitted.

Two other co-accused are absconding since the day of the alleged offence and hence their cases were separated by the court from those of the trio.

According to the prosecution, at around 5 am on September 4, 2006, a group of armed men barged into an automobile showroom in the Wagle Estate area of Thane city and beat up security guards on duty there.

They locked them in a room and ransacked the general manager’s room and office and decamped with cash and valuables worth Rs 4,51,370, the prosecution told the court during the trial.

The police later arrested three persons (who were acquitted on Thursday) in connection with the crime and charged them under MCOCA.

Defence advocate Poonit Mahimkar contested the charges against the accused and challenged the outcome of the police probe in the case.

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