A Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (Mcoca) Court on Wednesday sentenced Gangster Chhota Rajan and eight others to life imprisonment in journalist Jyotirmay Dey murder case.
Earlier in the day, the court declared nine of the 11 accused, including the mafia don Rajendra S Nikhalje, alias Chhota Rajan, guilty of the sensational murder case of journalist J Dey in June 2011. Co-accused journalist Jigna Vora who was charged with conspiracy has, however, been acquitted by Special Judge Sameer Adkar, Special Public Prosecutor Pradip Gharat told IANS.
There were a total of 11 accused in the case of whom nine, including some sharpshooters, were found guilty.
The verdict came almost seven years after the brutal daylight killing of Dey in a public place in suburban Mumbai.
Here are the LIVE updates:
06:00 pm: MCOCA court in Mumbai ordered that a compensation of Rs 5 lakh will be given to sister of deceased journalist Jyotirmay Dey, from the amount collected from the fine imposed on the convicts
04:30 pm: MCOCA court in Mumbai sentences Gangster Chhota Rajan and eight others to life imprisonment in journalist Jyotirmay Dey murder case.
01:30 pm: The quantum of sentence will be announced at 5 pm today.
12:02 pm: MCOCA court convicts Chhota Rajan and nine others, while former journalist Jigna Vora and Joseph Paulsen have been acquitted.
11:06 am: According to investigators, Chhota Rajan's shooter Satish Kalia had murder J Dey, and global roaming sim card was used to call Chhota Rajan.
11:02 am: According to investigators, Chhota Rajan ordered the killing of J Dey, a veteran crime reporter of Mumbai. He was deported from Indonesia's Bali in November 2015 and subsequently made an accused in the case.
What the case is all about
Mr Dey, 56, was the Editor (Investigations) of Midday Eveninger, and was shot dead on June 11, 2011, near his Powai residence in central suburban Mumbai. The killing sent shock waves in media circles across the country.
The investigations were initially conducted by police but were taken over by the Crime Branch due to its ramifications.
There was a sensational twist to the case when police arrested Jigna Vora, then Deputy Bureau Chief of The Asian Age, Mumbai, on November 25, 2011, besides 10 others. It emerged during the probe that Vora was allegedly in regular contact with Chhota Rajan and provoked him to eliminate Mr Dey.
The 11th accused Vinod Asrani alias Vinod Chembur, who was allegedly the main co-conspirator and financier of the entire operation, died of natural causes in April 2015 at a private hospital. He had "pointed out" Mr Dey to the gunmen the morning that he was killed.
In June 2015, the Special MCOCA court framed charges against the remaining 10 accused, including Vora.
The accused in the case are Rohit Thangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya, 28; Abhijeet Kasharam Shinde, 27; Arun Janardhan Dake, 27; Sachin Suresh Gaikwad, 35; Anil Bhanudas Waghmode, 35; Nilesh Narayan Shendge alias Bablu, 34; Mangesh Damodar Agawane, 25 (all who conducted recce and/or were shooters); Jigna Vora; weapon supplier Deepak Sisodia, 28, of Dehradun; Joseph Paulson, 43; Vinod Chembur (since deceased).
After Chhota Rajan's arrest, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the murder probe and made him an accused in a supplementary chargesheet.
A sum of Rs. 500,000 was paid for the contract killing, including Rs. 200,000 as advance.
According to Special Public Prosecutor Pradip Gharat, three accused had recorded in their confessional statements in the case. A total of 155 witnesses were examined during the trial.
"Chhota Rajan's deposition was recorded via videoconferencing from Tihar jail. He is not likely to be brought here for the verdict," he added.
Mr Dey had written two books: "Khallas: An A to Z Guide to the Underworld" and "Zero Dial: The Dangerous World of Informers". He was writing his third book, "Chindi: Rags to Riches".
He had reportedly portrayed the don as 'Chindi' (petty) in his upcoming book, which apparently irked Chhota Rajan.