Observing that she has a child to look after and is a single parent, a Special Court on Friday granted bail to Jigna Vora.
Vora was held under the Maharashtra [ Images ] Control of Organised Crime Act for her alleged complicity in the murder of fellow journalist Jyotirmoy Dey.
Special MCOCA court Judge S M Modak ordered Vora's release on a surety of Rs one lakh after observing that she had no criminal antecedents. He also noted that the charge-sheet had been filed and her custody was no longer required.
Other grounds for granting bail to Vora were that she was unwell due to asthma.
While granting bail, the judge also cited the Forensic Science Laboratory's failure to retrieve details of calls allegedly made by Vora from her mobile phone to underworld don Chhota Rajan, who allegedly ordered Dey's killing.
The court asked Vora to report to the Crime Branch twice a week and deposit her passport with the investigating agency immediately. She was also warned not to tamper with evidence.
Claiming innocence, Vora had sought liberty on grounds of ill health and that she had to look after her minor child. Vora, deputy chief of bureau of the Asian Age, had said she was falsely implicated in the murder of Dey, a senior journalist associated with city tabloid Mid-Day.
The Forensic Science Laboratory, Kalina, said in its report to the court on July 23 that data from six hand sets recovered from Vora could not be fetched as it did not have the necessary tools.
The police had said that Vora sent SMSes to her friends, acquaintances and also to the slain journalist during the course of her duty and those might throw light on the murder.
Vora was arrested on November 25 last year under the stringent anti-crime law MCOCA.
According to the police, the murder was plotted and executed allegedly at the behest of Chhota Rajan, whom Vora had instigated owing to professional rivalry with Dey.