Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the city police to file a report by July 6 on the progress of investigations into the murder of senior journalist Jyotirmoy Dey.

The direction was issued by Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R V More after they perused a confidential report and relevant files submitted by the police concerning the killing of Dey by unidentified assailants in suburban Powai on June 11.

"Please convey our anxiety to the investigating officers and file a further report on progress in the probe," Justice Ranjana Desai told Advocate General Ravi Kadam who was asked by the bench to personally argue in the matter.

Hearing petitions filed by advocate V P Patil, former scribe Ketan Tirodkar and S Balakrishnan, Editor of a city tabloid "Deshbhakti Andolan", who are seeking CBI probe, the
bench had on June 16 asked the police to submit a status report on probe.

The Court had allowed Mumbai Press Club and Marathi Patrakar Parishad, who are also seeking transfer of probe to CBI, to intervene and file affidavits, if required.

The petitioners and intervenors told the court on Tuesday they were not in favour of police getting two more weeks to probe further and argued that just one week would be enough.

However, Justice Desai remarked, "We feel some more time should be given to police to investigate. They have made efforts and are awaiting something. When investigating agencies are working, the courts do not interfere but if we find they have not done a proper job then we will take them to task."

Arguing in person, former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, while pointing out some instances of alleged nexus between police and the underworld, said stringent provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) be invoked in this case.

He said that collusion between police and the underworld was suspected and a CBI probe into Dey's murder is justified.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Press Club, which has over 1,200 journalists as its members, filed an affidavit saying it feared that Dey was targeted and murdered due to his professional reporting and investigating journalism into alleged links between a section of police and Dawood Ibrahim gang.

The affidavit said that the handling of investigations by police has been less than satisfactory and presents a cause for concern for the public in general and the journalist
community in particular.

It said, the police had claimed a breakthrough with detention of three Chota Shakeel gangsters on June 15.

However, the next day they were released after it emerged that there was no evidence of their involvement in the murder.

The affidavit further said that Dey had worked on stories over alleged links of ACP Anil Mahabole with Dawood gang.

On June 13, ACP Mahabole was abruptly transferred from Azad Maidan division to a lesser important post in local arms control.

The Crime Branch had also questioned him for six hours in Dey murder case and his statement had been recorded.

The police had not got any lead so far in the Dey murder case and the investigations should therefore be transferred to the CBI, it said.

The PIL filed by Balakrishnan also prayed for a direction to CBI to conduct a probe into Dey's murder since police had not been able to achieve any headway. PTI SVS NSK

Meanwhile, Mumbai police probing the J Dey murder case said that they were scrutinising nearly 3,000 emails and 250 drafts from the two personal email accounts of the senior scribe.

"We are scrutinising the mails. The mails pertained to some stories he had done earlier," Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said.

On the anonymous phone call claiming that the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) was behind the killing, Roy said, "The caller had used Yemen's SIM card."

"The caller spoke in Hindi and English," Roy said adding prima facie it appeared to be a hoax call.

Last Saturday, an anonymous caller rang up the police control room, saying the IM had hired shooters from Kashmir to bump off Dey.

The police were probing the Dey's case in at least six angles of which two angles were "very strong," said another official.

"Of the five witnesses we have, four had seen the actual shooting of the journalist," said the official.

Agencies