25 March 2021 3:56 PM GMT
A Special Court under the NIA Act on Thursday extended the custody of suspended police officer Sachin Waze till April 3, in the case regarding explosives found near Mukesh Ambani's house in Mumbai. The NIA represented by ASG Anil Singh sought Waze's custody for 15 days citing the terror charges recently invoked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the death of Mansukh Hiren and...
A Special Court under the NIA Act on Thursday extended the custody of suspended police officer Sachin Waze till April 3, in the case regarding explosives found near Mukesh Ambani's house in Mumbai.
The NIA represented by ASG Anil Singh sought Waze's custody for 15 days citing the terror charges recently invoked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the death of Mansukh Hiren and the planting of explosives.
Prima facie there is material to show disappearance of evidence, impersonation and possession of ammunition, Singh said. An earlier remand copy stated that Waze "used his government vehicle to escort the explosive-laden SUV and himself drove it to the scene of the crime."
On Thursday, Singh said NIA has recovered five vehicles, some high-end, used by the Waze, along with Rs 5.73 lakh and a note counting machine. He said Waze's voice samples have been sent for forensic analysis, along with video clips where he is seen moving suspiciously.
Reading from the remand application, Singh also said that the NIA has recovered number plates, a fake Aadhar card with a false name but with Waze's picture at Oberoi. Singh alleged that Waze paid the Oberoi 12 lakh for his 100-day stay.
He informed the court that the agency has recovered 62 unaccounted live bullets and rounds from Waze's house. As for the service pistol allotted to him, 25 of the 30 bullets allotted are not found Singh said. The agency said they want to investigate where the unaccounted bullets were kept, and for what purpose.
"Why was such a huge number of bullets kept in his house? Is it a deep-rooted conspiracy?" Singh submitted.
The ASG claimed 7-8 DVDs have been destroyed. Moreover, NIA intends to confront Waze with 1.2 TB of data collected.
"The investigation is at a crucial stage, it a very serious offence. One of the most heinous and shocking cases in the entire country. Shocking that a police officer is involved in planting explosives at a particular place in a case where he was the investigating officer." Singh argued.
Singh mentioned the mysterious death of businessman Mansukh Hiren to submit that NIA had recently taken over this connected case from the ATS and the case needs to be investigated.
UAPA could not be attracted against Waze. In this case merely because the prosecution wants further custody UAPA has been added.
Senior Advocate Aabad Ponda submitted that the gelatine sticks found in the SUV were without a detonator which cannot cause destruction. He said that these sticks can be stored safely without protective gear and do not fall under the purview of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
"The scope of a terrorist act under UAPA must be to hurt the unity, sovereignty, integrity and security of the country and target a community, not a particular individual.
Ponda submitted that according to the NIA, the present case is limited to some individuals but this individual is not a 'public functionary' according to the act. "The public person cannot be a famous person in society but has to be a constitutional authority," he said adding, the facts have not changed since day one.
He said the alleged letter recovered with the gelatine sticks could at most amount to intimidation, not a terrorist act.
"It was an explosive! The gelatine was found in a vehicle on a public road. Why would you keep gelatine in a car? Was it there for a celebration of a function?" Singh retorted.
Waze then told the court in Marathi that he was being made a scape-goat. "I have been made a scapegoat, I have nothing to do with this case," he said, adding, "I was the investigating officer of the case for one and half days, and did whatever I could in the capacity of an IO. However, there was suddenly a change in some plan somewhere. I went to the NIA office on my own and was arrested," he said.
He said he had nothing admitted to anything. The judge then remanded him to NIA's custody till April 3.