The Bombay high court on Tuesday dismissed a discharge plea made by real estate developer Vinod Asrani alias Vinod Chembur, an accused in the murder of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey, after observing that there was prima facie evidence against him.
A division bench of Justices P V Hardas and Revati Mohite Dere also relied on a confessional statement which spoke about Asrani's involvement in the case. Asrani's counsel Adhik Shirodkar had pleaded that there was no evidence against his client and that it was a fit case for discharge.
The high court, however, after perusing the material submitted by the prosecution, held that there was prima facie evidence against Asrani.
Shirodkar had argued that the police had in their possession a recorded telephonic conversation between gangster Chhota Rajan and his associate wherein the former said Asrani was unnecessarily arrested in the case and that he was not involved. Additional public prosecutor Ajey Gadkari had argued that Asrani was the one who had shown Dey to co-accused and assailant Satish Kalia.
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 on June 11, 2011. A month after Dey was shot dead, Asrani was arrested under stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
However, he managed to get bail in December last year on medical grounds.