'Why MCOCA not applied in contract killing cases'

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the state government to file an affidavit stating why the provisions of the stringent MCOCA are not applied in cases involving contract killing.

"Cases involving contract killing are on the rise. If organised syndicates are not involved in such cases, where do these middle-class youth (contract killers) get weapons like pistols and revolvers?" asked the division bench of justices B H Marlapalle and UD Salvi.

The court was hearing a petition filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, contending that the provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, which was enacted specially to curb organised crime, should be applied in every case involving contract killing.

The petition cites the example of the murder of Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar and the fake encounter killing of Ramnarayan Gupta, alleged aide of gangster Chhota Rajan.

Tirodkar pointed out that both the cases involved contract killing. The court has sought state's reply in three weeks.