Mumbai: Nearly seven years after journalist Jyotirmoy Dey was gunned down in suburban Mumbai, a special court will pronounce its verdict in the sensational case on Wednesday.
Additional Sessions Judge Sameer Adkar had on 3 April fixed 2 May for the verdict.
Several high-profile accused include mafia don Rajendra S Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan, currently lodged in Tihar Central Jail in New Delhi, and former Mumbai journalist Jigna Vora.
The final arguments in the Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Court had started in February and concluded early in April.
According to investigators, Chhota Rajan ordered the killing of Dey, a veteran crime reporter of Mumbai.
The mafia don was deported from Indonesia's Bali in November 2015 and subsequently made an accused in the case.
Dey, 56, was the editor (Investigations) of Midday eveninger, and was shot dead on 11 June, 2011, near his Powai residence in central suburban Mumbai, sending shockwaves in the 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 Vora, then Deputy Bureau Chief of The Asian Age, Mumbai, on 25 November, 2011, besides 10 others. It emerged during the probe that Vora was allegedly in regular contact with Chhota Rajan and provoked him to eliminate Dey.
The eleventh 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" Dey to the gunmen that morning.
In June 2015, the Special MCOCA court framed charges against the remaining 10 accused, including Vora.
The accused 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 Dey murder probe and made him an accused in a supplementary chargesheet.
As much as Rs 5 lakh was paid for the contract killing, including Rs 2 lakh as advance.
According to Special Public Prosecutor Pradip Gharat, three accused had got recorded in the court their confessional statements on their roles in the crime. 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 to Mumbai for the verdict," he added.
Dey had authored two books: Khallas: An A to Z Guide to the Underworld, and Zero Dial: The Dangerous World of Informers, and was penning his third book, Chindi: Rags to Riches.
He had reportedly portrayed the mafia don as "Chindi" (petty) in his upcoming book, which apparently irked Chhota Rajan.
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Updated Date: May 02, 2018 07:43:21 IST