Four years after journalist J Dey was shot dead allegedly on the orders of gangster Chhota Rajan, the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Monday framed charges against the ten accused, including journalist Jigna Vora.
All the ten have been charged with being members of Rajan’s gang and hatching a conspiracy to kill Dey.
J Dey was murdered in Powai on June 11, 2011, while he was on his way home.
Of the ten accused – Satish Kalia, Abhijeet Shinde, Arun Dake, Sachin Gaikwad, Anil Waghmode, Nilesh Shendge, Mangesh Ag awane, Vinod Asrani, Paulson Joseph, Deepak Sisodia and Jigna Vora – Asrani died recently.
According to the prosecution, the accused had been planning to kill Dey since 2010, at the behest of underworld don Rajan, who was angry with the journalist over some of the articles he had written.
The prosecution alleged that on the day of the incident, Kalia, Waghmode, Shinde, Shendge, Dake, Aagvane and Gaikwad had followed Dey. When he reached near Powai gardens, Kalia shot at him and they fled.
The prosecution has claimed that some days before the incident, on June 5, Asrani invited Dey for dinner to a restaurant. The other accused were also called here to identify Dey. However, as Asrani is dead, the case against him has been dropped.
Sisodia had supplied bullets and weapons to the accused while Joseph gave them global SIM cards and Rs 2 lakh in cash to execute the conspiracy, the prosecution claimed.
While reading the charges against Vora, the court said, “You provided Dey’s photograph and other important details to the accused for his identification. Hence you have participated in the conspiracy.”
All the accused have pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Jayesh Vithlani, Vora’s advocate said, “The court has just framed the charges. The case has been posted on June 18, where the prosecution will be asked to produce original documents. The trial will begin only after the technical procedure is completed.”
The court has now asked the prosecution to line up the evidence against the accused.
“There is no evidence against the accused to charge them under MCOCA. There is no meeting of mind [of the accused] for the conspiracy charge to be applied,” said Santosh Deshpande, the advocate for Kalia.