New Delhi: Merely committing forgery or
cheating repeatedly may not make one liable to prosecution
under stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act
(MCOCA) charges, a Delhi court has ruled.
Additional Sessions Judge Savita Rao gave the ruling while
acquitting five alleged habitual cheat-cum-fraud of the
stringent MCOCA charges and sending them back to a magisterial
court to face trial for penal offences of cheating, forgery
and breach of trust.
The court pointed out that in absence of violence or its
threat in committing offences like cheating or forgery for
pecuniary gains, they can well be dealt with under the normal
The five had been booked by the Special Cell of Delhi
Police for their alleged involvement in 29 cases of cheating,
forgery and breach of trust for running a racket of providing
fake passports and visas in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.
Defence Colony resident Vipin Sharma, his wife and others
were arrested after a complaint was lodged against them for
refusing to return Rs 6 lakh paid to them by a man for getting
a passport for his son and securing VISA for him for a foreign
When the complainant did not get the passport in two
months, he demanded back his money but was given dud cheques
by Sharma, who also assaulted him for repeating his demands.
ASJ Rao, however, said the necessary ingredient of
violence was missing in their acts.
"The subsequent off shoot of case of assault by accused
persons are not sufficient to conclude that they had
undertaken unlawful activities by means of violence,
intimidation or coercion," the court said.
It observed providing the fake passport or VISA, as
alleged, could not have been for any other purpose than to
have pecuniary gain.
"The fact remains that accumulation of any wealth out of
the continuing unlawful activities having been undertaken by
the accused persons are from proceedings conducted by them
pertaining to cheating and forgery etc, which do not qualify
for applicability of provisions of MCOCA," it added.
The court also noted the defence argument that merely
because the accused are related to each other, they cannot be
held to be running a crime syndicate.