National

Cases against Rajan transferred to CBI

The Maharashtra government has issued a notification transferring 71 cases with the Maharashtra police against Rajendra Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni, Mumbai Police spokesperson, said the notification reached the police on Friday evening, mentioning 68 cases registered against Rajan with the Mumbai Police, two with the Navi Mumbai police, and one with the Pune police.

The notification was issued three days before a hearing in the J. Dey murder case, in which Rajan is an accused. Crime Branch officials on Monday spoke to CBI officials in connection with the case and sent a short brief on the case status to them.

“A CBI officer is likely to be present in court on Tuesday, as we will jointly need to inform the court of the latest development and decide the course of action,” said an officer.

As per discussions between the Crime Branch and the CBI, the CBI, after completing its inquiries against Rajan, will be filing a supplementary charge sheet against him.

Meanwhile, Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare resigned from the case citing “personal reasons.”

Confirming his decision, Mr. Thakare told The Hindu, “I submitted my resignation before the Diwali break. I have too many cases to handle. The confirmation hearing of Himayat Baig [accused in the German Bakery blast case] is taking place on a daily basis.” He denied his resignation was linked to Rajan’s arrest.

The shift from the Crime Branch to the CBI is likely to cause a delay in the ongoing trial of the case, in which a set of ‘panch’ witnesses have been examined.

Asked if the CBI was going to appoint a counsel in the J. Dey case, agency spokesperson R.K. Gaur said, “We have not yet taken over the investigation.”

In light of the handover, a Crime Branch officer will seek a further date before a special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court presided over by special judge A.L. Pansare.

“After we seek time, the entire case will be handed over to the CBI and it will have to appoint a counsel,” Atulchandra Kulkarni, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) told The Hindu.

Rajan is alleged to be the main conspirator in the J. Dey case, as per a charge sheet filed by the Crime Branch in 2011.

This June, the special court framed charges against 10 accused in the case, including former scribe Jigna Vora, currently out on bail.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 2:23:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cases-against-chhota-rajan-transferred-to-cbi/article7884475.ece

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