A Thane court has asked the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) to stop its probe into the mysterious death case of Mansukh Hiren. The court also asked ATS to transfer the case related documents immediately to the NIA.
The Thane court's order came three days after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) ordered the NIA to take over the Mansukh Hiren death case from the Maharashtra ATS. The ATS, however, didn't handover the case to the central agency.
Hiren, the purported owner of the car with explosives found outside Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani's residence in Mumbai last month, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Thane. His body was fished out from a creek in neighbouring Thane district on the morning of March 5, hours after he went "missing".
On March 7, the Maharashtra ATS had registered a case of murder against unidentified persons.
Earlier on Tuesday, the ATS said that suspended police officer Sachin Vaze was a prime accused in the Mansukh Hiren murder case and it will approach the special NIA court to get his custody.
Vaze, arrested in connection with the SUV case, is currently in the custody of the NIA. The NIA custody will expire on March 25.
Hiren, an automobile accessories dealer from Thane, had purportedly written a letter on March 2 to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and police commissioners of Thane and Mumbai, alleging that he was being harassed by the police and media since the vehicle was found outside Ambani's house. He had also claimed that despite being a victim, he was treated like an accused.
The Scorpio SUV was found near 'Antilia' with 20 gelatin sticks inside on February 25. Police had said the vehicle was stolen from Airoli-Mulund Bridge on February 18. The NIA is already probing the explosives-laden SUV case.