Extradited gangster Rajendra Nikalje Alias Chhotta Rajan on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to the charges framed by the designated court under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in connection with journalist J Dey murder case. The gangster will now face the trial in the case.
Meanwhile, a witness-turned-accused’s mother on Wednesday approached the court for relief for her son in the case. The mother, Shoba Ramchand, said that she was shocked that her son, Ravi Rateshwar, a Dubai-based businessman, was made accused in the case. Shoba has sought the permission from the court to inspect and subsequently have copies of the court record on behalf of her son.
In the application filed through advocate Sameer Shisode, she had pleaded that her son has given all the relevant information to the police about the case when his statement was recorded as a prosecution witness during the investigation. She pleaded that he has nothing to do with the murder.
The court, however, refused to entertain the application and asked the lawyer to file the application on behalf of Rateshwar as mother has no locus standi.
“The court has now asked Rateshwar to come forward and move the application. We also expressed fear to his life and the court has agreed to give protection if needed,” Shisode said.
Meanwhile the court on Wednesday framed the charges against Rajan after his lawyers told the court that they don’t want to argue on the charges pressed by the prosecution against the gangster.
The gangster is charged for hatching the conspiracy to eliminate the former journalist and subsequently with the help of his aids executing the same. He is charged under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and MCOCA.
“The court has now asked the prosecution to submit a detailed program on how they want to proceed further with the trial. The court will also recall the witnesses already examined by the prosecution for Rajan’s lawyer to reexamine them,” said advocate Jayesh Vitlani, who represents former journalist Jigna Vora in the case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had sought to frame the charges against Rajan for his role as main conspirator and head of the organized crime syndicate which executed the murder of a former journalist J-Dey in June 2011.
On Wednesday while framing the charges the MCOCA judge read out the charges framed against him and explained it to Rajan, who was produced before the court through video conferencing from Tihar jail.
Rajan pleaded not guilty to all the charges and alleged the case to be false against him. After recording gangster’s plea the court asked the prosecution to resume the trial in the case. Followed by which the court said it would now begin the trial in the case against all the accused. The court has now asked prosecution to submit a program for the trial in the next hearing.