ibnlive » India

Sep 02, 2008 at 12:29am IST

SC rules criminal conversations hold good

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ruled that police can tap phones of suspects and this recorded conversation can be used as evidence under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, better known by its acronym- MCOCA.

Sections 14 to 17 of the MCOCA, which cover nearly one- third of the act, are provisions dealing with authorising the interception of wire, electronic and telephonic communication.

With the Supreme Court ruling, the investigating agencies just got a shot in the arm in their fight against the underworld and terror outfits.

Supreme court of India has ruled that the police can intercept phone call of suspects. Moreover, the tapped conversations are acceptable now in the court of law as evidence against them during the trail.

The ruling comes on a petition of the Maharashtra government in the Bharat Shah case.

Leading Bollywood financer Bharat Shah faced allegations of having close links with Dubai-based mafia dons like Dawood Abrahim, Chhota Shakeel and others.

The controversial flim producer was discharged of charges under the MCOCA earlier, when the Bombay High court ruled that Sections 14, 15 ,1 6 and 17 of the Act pertaining to phone intercepts were illegal.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Rraveendran and M K Sharma set aside the impugned judgement of Bombay High Court and this ruling has cleared the deck for the prosecution of Shah using that telephonic conversation he allegedly held with people from the underworld.

Exposing the involvement of the money of the film mafia is sufficient to start investigation, ruled the court.

This judgment is also likely to open a larger debate on making phone-tapping legal under other existing laws.

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