The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Shah awaits verdict on crime Act

Mumbai, Feb. 23 (PTI): Bombay High Court will tomorrow deliver its verdict on petitions filed by film financier Bharat Shah and two others challenging some provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

The trial in the case of an alleged Bollywood nexus with the underworld will also resume in a special court tomorrow. The next witness to depose will be Sunjay Dutt. The trial had come to a halt as the prosecution declared that it would not examine any witnesses until the high court gives its ruling on the legality of the Act.

After hearing arguments last week in the Shah case, Justices V.B. Palshikar and V.G. Munshi reserved the order until February 24.

Shah, facing the charge of forging links with the underworld to target film personalities for personal gains, prayed that the Maharashtra legislature could not enact the law as it violated the Constitution. He urged that the Act be struck down or trial stayed in a special court.

Shah’s counsel V.R. Manohar and Vibhav Krishna argued that the state was not competent to enact some provisions such as Section 13 (appointment of competent authority), Section 14 (authorisation of interception of wire, electronic or oral communication), Section 15 (constitution of review committee for authorising orders) and Section 16 (interception and disclosure of wire, electronic or oral communication).

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