Mumbai: A special court on Monday formally charged 10 people, including woman scribe Jigna Vora, for the murder of senior Mumbai journalist J. Dey four years ago.
The charges were framed under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Indian Penal Code and other statutory provisions by Special MCOCA Judge A.L. Pansare.
After the charges - including the conspiracy to kill senior journalist Dey and having links with absconding mafia don Chhota Rajan - were read out to them by the court, all the accused pleaded not guilty.
Dey, investigations editor of Mumbai eveninger Mid-Day, was shot five times by two motorcycle-borne assailants near his home in suburban Powai on the morning of June 11, 2011. He was pronounced dead when rushed to a nearby hospital.
Vora, arrested in November 2011, was accused of allegedly passing on vital information on Dey's whereabouts, the registration number of his motorcycle and other details to the mafia don's henchmen.
Those charge-sheeted include bookie Vinod Asrani, Paulson Joseph, Deepak Sisodia, Satish Kalia, Abhijeet Shinde, Arun Dake, Sachin Gaekwad, Anil Waghmore, Nilesh Shendge and Mangesh Agawane. A separate charge-sheet was filed against Vora.
Bookie Asrani died recently due to illness, while Chhota Rajan and co-conspirator Narayan Bish are absconding.
According to investigators, Dey was killed as certain articles he wrote in the eveninger enraged Chhota Rajan, who ordered his elimination allegedly at the instigation of Vora.