The Bombay high court has refused to grant interim bail to Rohee Tangappan Joseph alias Satish Kalya, a convict in the June 2011 killing of journalist J Dey.
Joseph has sought bail pending hearing in his appeal challenging the life imprisonment. A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court, on May 2, 2018, convicted Joseph and sentenced him to life in prison along with gangster Chhota Rajan and seven others. His counsel Ahirisb Gupte said Joseph has been in custody since his arrest on June 26, 2011. His appeal is unlikely to be heard in the near future.
Joseph had allegedly collected firearms from Dipak Sisodia and fired five shots at Dey, killing him. Gupte said the conviction was based on circumstantial evidence as there was no eyewitness. The weapon was not recovered from Joseph and confessions of co-accused Arun Dake and Sisodia were retracted.
The bench notes that Rajan conspired to kill Dey and gave the task to Joseph and six others. On June 11, 2011, Joseph was riding pillion on Dake’s motorbike when he shot at Dey.
The court took note of the fact that the weapon used was recovered. Special public prosecutor Pradip Gharat submitted that the ballistic report confirmed the cartridge from Dey’s body matched the weapon recovered from Joseph. Gharat also informed that Joseph was convicted for attempts to murder builder Ajay Gosalia and hotelier BR Shetty.
“We are of the view that the applicant does not deserve to be released on bail by suspending the sentence,” the judges said while dismissing his bail plea.