J Dey trial: CBI drags its feet over producing Chhota Rajan in court

Although the special MCOCA court had issued a warrant to Tihar Jail to produce gangster Chhota Rajan for tomorrow's hearing, the CBI is yet to decide whether to transfer him to Mumbai

It is unlikely that underworld don Chhota Rajan will be transferred to Mumbai in time for the hearing in the murder trial of mid-day journalist J Dey, even though the Special MCOCA court had on December 22 issued a production warrant for him to Tihar Jail, where he is currently lodged. The court hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, but the Mumbai Police and Crime Branch are yet to be notified whether Rajan aka Sadashiv Nikalje will be transferred from Delhi to Mumbai and what kind of protection should be provided for the hearing.

Chhota Rajan is escorted from a holding cell at the Bali police headquarters ahead of his deportation to India in November. File pic
Chhota Rajan is escorted from a holding cell at the Bali police headquarters ahead of his deportation to India in November. File pic

It will be the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) responsibility to transfer Rajan, and the Mumbai Police’s to provide adequate protection during the hearing here. Of the 74 cases the Mumbai police has transferred to the CBI, yesterday, the central agency registered its second case against Rajan — the murder case of mid-day journalist J Dey. The first case was about a fake passport the gangster was using during his stay in Australia (See ‘CBI brushes off RTI query’).

“We have just registered a case against gangster Chhota Rajan in J Dey murder case. We are yet to take a call about the production warrant,” said R K Gaur, CBI spokesperson.

The CBI has demanded that one court should deal with all of Chhota Rajan’s cases in the city. Accordingly, the state wrote to the Bombay High Court and the bench appointed Judge Sameer S Adkar for Rajan’s cases.

“The CBI and Crime Branch officers will be present in the special MCOCA court and are likely to ask Judge A L Pansare for more time to produce Rajan. They will also seek clarification whether the J Dey murder case will be transferred to Judge Adkar, and whether they should produce Rajan or carry out a video conference directly in that court,” said a Crime Branch officer.

CBI brushes off RTI query
The CBI has refused to answer an RTI query about the FIR against Chhota Rajan for using corrupt practices to obtain a fake passport (see pic). The RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak attacked a media report with his query, which said the FIR had been filed under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PoCA). The central agency said it was exempt from the Right to Information Act, citing Section 24 of the Act. However, the transparency law makes it clear that even exempt organisations are covered under the RTI Act when the information sought pertains to allegations of corruption.

Chhota Rajan was captured at Bali airport in October 2015 while he was travelling with a fake passport registered to a Mohan Kumar
Chhota Rajan was captured at Bali airport in October 2015 while he was travelling with a fake passport registered to a Mohan Kumar

“Clearly, no FIR would have been registered suo motu under the provisions of PoCA if the CBI were not investigating a case of corruption involving issuance of the allegedly fake passport by officials of the Indian Mission in Sydney. By CBI’s own admission, there is an allegation of corruption,” said Nayak.


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