Crime reporter Jigna Vora, who has been arrested in connection with the murder of veteran crime journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, sold off one of her mobile phones, purportedly to destroy evidence, the police said on Thursday while seeking extension of her custody.
A designated Mcoca (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) court hearing the case granted the extension, but rejected public prosecutor Dilip Shah's plea of conducting a narco analysis test on her (see box).
Dey, editor (special investigations) at Mid-Day, was gunned down by a group of six assailants, allegedly deputed by gangster Chhota Rajan, at Powai on June 11. The crime branch arrested Vora on November 25 for passing on vital information on Dey to Rajan, which it says was used to execute the murder.
The prosecutor told Mcoca judge SM Modak that the crime branch is trying to trace the disposed of phone, and submitted that Vora's mobile phone, laptop and a computer used by her have been seized and attempts are being made to retrieve data on them.
Senior advocate Ashok Mundargi representing Vora argued that though in a case of this nature the court would exercise its discretion in favour of the prosecution, no new material has been brought on record by the police to justify the extension.
He added that her electronic belongings had already been seized and the custody could not be extended only for questioning her in the presence of other accused.
The judge, however, felt Vora's further custodial interrogation is necessary in view of certain new facts revealed during the investigation, and extended her police custody to December 5.
Acting on a plea filed by the crime branch, the court also transferred co-accused Polson Joseph, whom the police want to confront Vora on certain details, from judicial to police custody until December 5.