Mumbai: The Bombay High Court reserved its order today on a discharge plea made by real estate developer Vinod Asrani, alias 'Vinod Chembur', who is an accused in a case of the murder of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey.
Arguments concluded today before a division bench of Justices P V Hardas and Revethi Dhere who reserved the order.
Vinod Asrani's counsel Adhik Shirodkar pleaded that except his client's confession given to the police, there was no other evidence against him.
Shirodkar also denied Asrani's involvement in the murder of the late Jyotirmoy Dey, who was the crime and investigations editor of Mumbai-based tabloid Midday, and said it is a fit case for discharge of the accused.
He also refuted police allegations that Asrani had connections with underworld fugitive Chhota Rajan.
Shirodkar said the police had in their possession a recorded telephonic conversation between gangster Chhota Rajan and his associate wherein the former said Vinod Asrani was unnecessarily arrested in the case and that he was not involved.
He also said Asrani's confession to police was made under duress. Asrani was neither a member of any gang or syndicate nor was he associated with the Chhota Rajan gang, Shirodkar argued.
However, government pleader Ajay Gadkari opposed Asrani's plea for discharge, saying he was allegedly involved in the conspiracy to kill Dey who was shot dead on 11 June, 2011.
He said Satish Kalia had fired bullets at the victim and Asrani had earlier shown Dey to the assailant.
Asrani is accused of calling Dey to a suburban hotel and identifying him to members of Chhota Rajan gang who allegedly shot the journalist dead in suburban Powai.
A month after Dey was shot dead, Asrani was arrested under stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). However, he managed to get bail in December last year on medical grounds.
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Updated Date: Aug 06, 2013 19:36:25 IST