J Dey murder case: HC upholds acquittal of former journalist Jigna Vora

A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court in May last year acquitted Vora on the grounds that merely passing on registration number of the victim’s motorcycle to gangster Chhota Rajan, the main accused, can’t be the basis to incriminate her.
Vora’s lawyer Meghshyam Kocharekar said journalists are used to speaking with criminals and it can’t be considered a crime.(HT file photo)
Vora’s lawyer Meghshyam Kocharekar said journalists are used to speaking with criminals and it can’t be considered a crime.(HT file photo)
Updated on Aug 28, 2019 09:17 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByK A Y Dodhiya

The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday upheld a trial court order that said former journalist Jigna Vora had no role to play in the conspiracy to eliminate journalist J Dey.

A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court in May last year acquitted Vora on the grounds that merely passing on registration number of the victim’s motorcycle to gangster Chhota Rajan, the main accused, can’t be the basis to incriminate her.

Prosecution witness Manoj Shivdasani had deposed in court that Rajan told him that he got Dey’s details from Vora. The state had appealed against the trial court order, stating Shivdasani’s deposition was not appreciated and hence the order was “perverse”.

Special counsel Pradeep Gharat submitted before a division bench of HC justice BP Dharmadhikari and justice Sandeep Shinde that there were three grounds on which Vora’s role in the conspiracy became evident. “Vora had complained about Dey to Rajan while speaking to him, and given the registration number of his motorcycle. Also, she went on leave a day prior to Dey’s murder at Powai,” he said.

Vora’s lawyer Meghshyam Kocharekar said journalists are used to speaking with criminals and it can’t be considered a crime. Also, Shivdasani’s deposition was not corroborated and hence could not be treated as incriminating evidence, he said, adding that going on leave a day prior to the murder does not indicate that she conspired with Rajan.

“There is nothing wrong in journalists speaking with criminals as it is part of their job. Sharing the registration number could be termed as a conspiracy, but in the absence of any material to corroborate Shivdasani’s statement, it is not possible to prove that she conspired with Rajan,” the bench said.

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Thursday, January 27, 2022