2012 Mumbai firing case: Chhota Rajan, 5 aides get eight years’ rigorous imprisonment
A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Tuesday sentenced six men, including gangster Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan, to eight years’ rigorous imprisonment with a fine of ₹5 lakh for firing at a city-based hotelier BR Shetty in October 2012.
Rajan, Nityanand Nayak, Selvin Daniel, Rohit Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalia, Dilip Upadhyay and Talvinder Singh have been held guilty of attempt to murder, hatching a criminal conspiracy and working under an organised crime syndicate under the Indian Penal Code and MCOCA. Of the total fine that will be collected from the accused, the court has ordered ₹5 lakh be given to Shetty as compensation.
On October 3, 2012, Upadhyay and Singh followed Shetty’s car on a bike from his office in Andheri to his friend’s place in Andheri for dinner. Around 9.30pm, when he reached a famous jewellery showroom, Upadhyay opened fire at Shetty. Shetty suffered an injury to his right arm. The accused fled, while the hotelier rushed to the nearby Oshiwara police station from where he was admitted to a hospital. During the investigation, two shooters, along with Daniel and Nayak, confessed and revealed the details of the conspiracy.
According to the AEC, Rajan ordered his sharpshooter Kalia to eliminate Shetty. Kalia, who was in judicial custody for his involvement in journalist J Dey’s murder case, asked his aide Gurudeep Singh, a wanted accused in the case, to approach Upadhyay and Talvinder Singh to carry out the killing. Nayak and Daniel then conducted the survey and helped the accused identify Shetty.
In the court, the accused pleaded for leniency, as they have been in jail since their arrest in 2012. Rajan told the court that he had nothing to do with these cases and pleaded for minimum punishment.
Special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat sought maximum punishment to the accused. “Under the provision, a minimum sentence is for five years with a fine of up to ₹5 lakh and maximum sentence is life imprisonment. We plead the accused be awarded maximum punishment in the case,” Gharat submitted.
The prosecution examined 49 witnesses, including Shetty. It relied on confession statements given by four accused and call data records, along with other corroborative evidence.