A Mumbai Special Court on Tuesday granted CBI permission to interrogate deported mafia don Rajendra Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan for 10 days from January 27.
Special Judge A.L. Pansare of the Special MCOCA Court granted the permission on a plea of the CBI to question Chhota Rajan for his role in the sensational daylight killing of senior Mumbai journalist Jyotirmoy Dey in 2011.
The 54-year-old don was presented before the special court via a video conferencing from New Delhi’s Tihar Central Jail and confirmed that he had received the charge sheet in the case and needed time to go through it.
Chhota Rajan also informed the special judge that he was lodged in a high security cell and taken out only once a week and needed at least 15 days to study the charge sheet and hire a lawyer in Mumbai.
To this, Special Judge Pansare pointed out that his lawyer Anshuman Sinha, based in New Delhi, was also present in the court.
Dey, 56, the editor (investigations) of Mid-Day tabloid, was gunned down near his home at Powai, north-east Mumbai, on June 11, 2011.
Among the 11 prime accused were a senior journalist and professional colleague Jigna Vora of the Asian Age, who was nabbed on November 25 that year.
Besides Vora, 10 more persons were arrested in the case and charge-sheeted. Of them, one prime accused Vinod Asrani alias Vinod Chembur, a bookie and co-conspirator to the Dey murder, passed away in April 2015 following natural causes.
The others are: Satish Kalia, Abhijit Shinde, Arun Dhake, Sachin Gaikwad, Anil Waghmore, Nilesh Shendge, Mangesh Agwane, Paulson Joseph and Deepak Sisodia.
The Mumbai-born mafia don, Chhota Rajan — facing around 70 cases in Maharashtra and elsewhere in the country — was nabbed in Bali, Indonesia, on October 25 last year and later deported to India.