BENGALURU: The Special Investigation Team probing the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh on Tuesday invoked the stringent Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act (KCOCA) against all the accused in the case.
The SIT has invoked Section 3 of the KCOCA, which defines the punishment for organised crime. The SIT has arrested 12 people in connection with the case so far, while 13 have been named accused. Other 3-4 accused persons are yet to be traced and arrested.
The New Indian Express was the first to report in its June 4th edition that the SIT is likely to invoke stringent acts such as Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and KCOCA in the case, considering the modus operandi of the accused and the gravity of the offence they had committed.
“Once KCOCA is invoked in a case, it applies to all the accused persons related to it. The order, however, has to be approved by a review committee. It helps the investigating agency to carry out an effective investigation,” a senior police officer said.
What Is Organised Crime
According to KCOCA, ‘Organised Crime’ means any continuing unlawful activity by an individual, singly or jointly, either as a member of an organised crime syndicate or on behalf of such syndicate, by use of violence or threat of violence or intimidation or coercion, or other unlawful means, with the objective of gaining pecuniary benefits, or gaining undue economic or other advantage for himself or any other person or promoting insurgency.
Punishment Under Kcoca
Those involved in murder will be awarded death penalty or life imprisonment, while other offences such as conspiracy, harbouring a member of an organised crime syndicate or being a member of such a syndicate attracts minimum five years of imprisonment but may be extended to life imprisonment.