Ambani terror scare case: Detention period of Waze, three other dismissed cops extended to allow NIA to file chargesheet

The NIA sought a 90-day extension citing grounds including the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic being an impediment in the probe.

A special court extended the period of detention of dismissed policemen Sachin Waze, Riyazuddin Kazi, Sunil Mane, Vinayak Shinde and one other accused, by two months allowing National Investigation Agency (NIA) an extension to file a chargesheet against them in the Ambani terror scare case.

The NIA sought a 90-day extension citing grounds including the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic being an impediment in the probe. Special judge Prashant R Sitre allowed an extension of 60 days to NIA stating that the matter was complex and required more time for a thorough probe.

On Wednesday, NIA, through its special public prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves, submitted a report on the investigation for the court’s perusal. While the accused sought access to the documents, the court rejected their plea stating that the offence is serious, “very sensitive” and the investigation is in progress. Lawyer Sudeep Pasbola, representing Waze, submitted that the anti-terror law — Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act — does not apply in the case since there was no terror conspiracy in the absence of an intention and, hence, an extension to file a chargesheet cannot be given. It was also submitted by him that NIA had not given the accused a copy of the report submitted to the court and, thus, not fulfilled the criteria of an accused knowing the reason for detention. He also said the progress of the investigation has not found any mention in NIA’s plea seeking an extension.

Lawyers for dismissed constable Shinde and alleged bookie arrested in the case, Naresh Gor, submitted that there was no objection to an extension being granted to NIA to file the chargesheet.

Lawyers Vaibhav Bagade and Aaditya Gore, representing dismissed inspector Mane, submitted that he is not involved in any other case and analysis of documents cannot be termed an investigation and given an extension for.

The court on perusal of the case diary and report submitted by NIA said the probe was into various aspects and the offence was deep-rooted requiring time. The NIA, in its plea, had claimed that the accused were highly influential and could hamper the probe if extension is not granted. The first arrest in the case was in March. The NIA can file its chargesheet by August. The accused have been booked for allegedly planting gelatin sticks in an SUV, which was found parked near the residence of businessman Mukesh Ambani in South Mumbai on February 25. Mansukh Hiran, a man linked with the SUV, was found dead on March 5. The NIA has alleged a conspiracy in the planting of explosives and subsequent murder of Hiran.

Waze allowed chair, legal consultation

The court on Wednesday directed the Taloja jail superintendent to provide a chair and mattress to dismissed assistant inspector Waze. He had stated that he had back pain and other ailments. The court also allowed Waze’s lawyer Sajal Yadav to meet him under the supervision of jail authorities once a week for an hour for the next two months. The court said considering the voluminous documents in the case, the accused is entitled to seek his advocate’s consultation to defend himself.

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