A Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) Court on Wednesday convicted gangster Chhota Rajan and acquitted journalist Jigna Vora for the murder of senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey.
Another accused Joseph Paulsen was also acquitted.
Dey was shot dead on June 11, 2011 near his resident in Mumbai's Powai, allegedly on orders from gangster Chhota Rajan. Journalist Jigna Vora, then deputy chief of bureau of Asian Age, was alleged to have conspired with the underworld don and is said to have "instigated" Rajan against Dey.
Four people on two bikes had shot Dey around 3 pm. Dey had suffered nine bullet wounds on his body.
As many as 155 witnesses were examined in the case, of which 10 had turned hostile.
There were 14 accused in the case of whom two are absconding and one who has died. The rest of the 11 accused, including Rajan and Vora, have gone under trial.
Why Chhota Rajan planned to kill Dey
The CBI, that took over the case in 2015 when Rajan was brought back to India, claimed that the book that Dey had planned to write called "Chindi - Rags to Riches" where Rajan was reportedly portrayed as a petty criminal had also led him to plan the murder.
Rajan was quoted in a CBI supplementary chargesheet as saying, "J. Dey was writing many articles against me in newspapers. Hence I contacted him and enquired politely whether he has any personal enmity with me. He declined but continued writing against me.. like my gang has become weak and that I am sick, my loyal people have left me etc. All such write-ups of J Dey angered me. Hence I developed an impression that he had started working for the Dawood gang. I tried to convince him before killing him. But he did not listen. I am not sure whether he was really close to Dawood gang.. but his writings made me feel like that."
Jigna Vora's alleged role
Vora was arrested on November 25, 2011. She was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under the Indian Penal Code, under the Arms Act and also under sections of MCOCA.
The police had alleged that it was her rivalry with Dey that led her to get involved in the murder.
Investigation had revealed that Vora had made 36 phone calls to Rajan before the murder. Then joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy had told The Times of India, "There are transcripts of Rajan saying that he regretted killing Dey and it happened because Jigna instigated him."
NDTV had reported that while the entire journalist fraternity made phone calls and received phone calls about Dey's murder, there were no calls made or received from Vora's phone who was on a on a trip to Sikkim and Darjeeling. When a journalist had called her to inform her of the murder, she is said to have told him that she didn't want to talk about it.