A Mumbai court on Wednesday convicted gangster Chhota Rajan and eight others in the journalist Jyotirmoy Dey ( J Dey ) murder case and sentenced them to life imprisonment.
The special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court, however, acquitted former journalist Jigna Vora, who was charged with instigating Rajan to carry out the killing. The judge also acquitted Paulson Joseph, who was accused of handling the financial operations concerned with the conspiracy.
Dey, 56, was shot by two motorcycle-borne men on June 11, 2011 in suburban Powai when he was on his way to his residence. At that time, he worked as a senior editor for the tabloid Mid-Day.
Rajan, who was witnessing proceedings from New Delhi’s Tihar jail via video conferencing, said “theek hai” (alright), when the judge read out the sentence and asked the gangster if he wanted to say anything.
The prosecution had demanded the maximum punishment for the convicts, saying that J Dey was a journalist who represented the fourth pillar of democracy.
According to the prosecution, the killing was carried out at the behest of Rajan, who was purportedly “unhappy” with the negative reports that Dey had been writing on his health and his diminishing clout in the underworld.
A total of 12 persons were arrested in the case, including Rajan, Satish Joseph alias Satish Kaliya, the shooter, and Vora. One of the accused, Vinod Asrani, died after prolonged illness in 2015, pending trial.
Besides Rajan, the others convicted in the case are Satish Kaliya, Anil Waghmode, Abhijit Shinde, Nilesh Shendge, Arun Dake, Mangesh Agawane, Sachin Gaikwad and Deepak Sisodia.