SC quashes MCOCA against Mumbai encounter cop Daya Nayak

A Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur quashed the cases against Nayak on the ground that the complaint filed by Ketan Tirodkar, his estranged friend and ex-journalist, was not maintainable as prior sanction of the government was not obtained by the complainant.

The complaint had charged Nayak of accepting money from mafia/underworld bosses and his alleged links with Pakistan- based gangster Chhota Shakeel. Tirodkar is also facing trial for his alleged involvement in underworld activities.

The judgement would pave the way for Nayak's reinstatement who was suspended by Maharashtra government in 2006, his advocate Shivaji Jadhav claimed.

Kirodkar had filed the complaint against Nayak in 2003 and a special court, trying MCOCA cases in Mumbai, had issued the process for his prosecution which was challenged by the encounter specialist before the Bombay High Court that dismissed his plea.

Aggrieved, he appealed in the apex court arguing that under Section 23 of MCOOCA prior sanction of government was necessary but had not been obtained and hence the complaint was not maintainable. Under section 23 (2) of MCOCA, no court can take cognisance of an offence unless sanction is obtained from the competent authority who is of the rank of an Additional Director General of Police.

The apex court agreed with his contention and in a brief order quashed the complaint against Nayak. Tirodkar'a allegation had virtually ruined Nayak’s career who was rated among the best encounter cops in the fight against the Mumbai underworld.

Daya Nayak is credited with having gunned down 70 gangsters and earned the sobriquet of encounter specialist.

Tirodkar had alleged among other things in his complaint that Nayak had taken Rs two crore from Shakeel to bribe higher-ups to transfer police officers who were not favourable to the underworld.

Asking the special court for pardon, Tirodkar said he was part of the conspiracy and had accepted money along with Nayak from Shakeel's men. He has also alleged the film Kaagar, said to be based on Nayak's life, was made at the instance of Shakeel.

Subsequently, Tirodkar was provided with police security as he claimed a threat to his own life.

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