A special court here has held that running brothels or prostitution business and procuring girls with the obvious intent of monetary gain forms part of a “continuing unlawful activity,” which is at the core of an organized crime committed either individually or as member of an organized crime syndicate.
Special judge J T Utpat upheld in a recent order the city police’s move to invoke the stringent provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Jayashree alias Kalyani Deshpande, an alleged sex racket operator. Deshpande was arrested after a sex racket was busted in Bhusari colony , a residential area in Kothrud in July last year. Deshpande’s aide was arrested after that and three girls were rescued from the premises.
In October last year, the police invoked MCOCA charges against Deshpande, and she is since lodged in judicial custody at Yerawada jail.
The court rejected her plea seeking discharge from the MCOCA offence and transfer of the case to a special court for Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act (PITA) offences. “We will move an appeal in the high court against the trial court’s order,” her lawyer Vidyadhar Koshe told TOI on Saturday .
Deshpande had argued that she had neither committed any organized crime nor was a member of an organized syndicate with a history of violence linked with monetary gain.
The cases against her were for offences under the PITA, which is a code in itself and offences under PITA were triable by a dedicated court for this enactment.
Also, she argued that PITA was a central enactment while MCOCA was a state enactment. As such, offences relating to PITA did not fall within the ambit of MCOCA.
The court referred to the definition of “continuing unlawful activity” under the MCOCA and observed that organized crime was nothing, but continuing unlawful activity either individually or jointly as member of a crime syndicate.