Mumbai cop Sachin Waze, arrested in the probe into recovery of explosives from a car near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence, has confessed his role in the case. Vaze, an assistant police inspector with the Mumbai Police, was arrested by the NIA on Saturday in connection with the case. He was arrested by the agency after 12 hours of grilling.
Sources told India TV that Waze was involced in placing gelatin sticks in the SUV that was found parked near Ambani's multi-storey residence 'Antilia' on February 25, and that when he was questioned about it, he admitted his involvement.
Waze has been arrested under IPC sections 286 (negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance) 465 (forgery), 473 (making or possessing counterfeit seal, etc with intent to commit forgery), 506(2) (punishment for criminal intimidation), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and relevant provisions of the Explosive Substances Act.
According to Waze's advocate Sudeep Pasbola, the arrest has been made only on the basis of suspicion and that there was no concrete evidence against him. "The court remanded Waze till March 25, but kept the matter for further hearing on Monday. The court has asked the NIA to show what evidence it has collected and what is the stage of investigation," Pasbola said.
Another defence lawyer, Sunny Punamia, submitted before the court that Waze's arrest was "completely illegal". "The argument placed before the court was that the accused has been arrested solely based on suspicion and no prima facie case is established in the FIR. Therefore, if no prima facie case is established on a bare reading of the FIR against the accused, the detainment and arrest of the accused itself is completely illegal and even one day's incarceration of the accused would be violative of his constitutional rights," he said.
The lawyer also said that Waze's arrest was also illegal as the accused was not informed of the grounds of the arrest, and he wasn't given an option to seek legal help and make a call to a relative of his choice. On these grounds, his custodial interrogation is not warranted, it's arbitrary and the accused must be released on bail forthwith as the investigation has not been conducted on the settled principles of law, he added.
Waze was summoned at the agency's Mumbai office at Cumballa Hill in south Mumbai around 11.30 am on Saturday to record his statement. He was arrested after being questioned by the NIA officials for around 12 hours. The case was handed over to the NIA after the mysterious death of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran, who claimed that the vehicle had been stolen a week earlier. His body was found in a creek at Thane on March 5.
Credited with eliminating 63 alleged criminals in 'encounters', Waze, a 1990-batch officer of the state cadre, was suspended in 2004 over his role in the custodial death of a 2002 Ghatkopar blast suspect Khwaja Yunus and was reinstated last year. Waze had joined Shiv Sena while he was under suspension. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray recently said Waze was a member of Shiv Sena till 2008.
Earlier on March 12, he was transferred to the Citizen Facilitation Centre (CFC) unit of the city police. The CFC is the unit that handles police clearance for passports, various licences and other public related services.