Waze moves HC against arrest, says he was made `scapegoat'

·3-min read

(Eds: adding arguments in lower court) Mumbai, Mar 15 (PTI) Suspended police officer Sachin Waze on Monday filed a `habeas corpus' petition in the Bombay High Court, challenging his arrest by the NIA in connection with the recovery of an explosives-laden SUV near Mukesh Ambani's house.

The NIA, on the other hand, denied before a lower court that he had been detained illegally before the arrest.

Waze, an assistant police inspector with Mumbai police, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency on Saturday for his alleged involvement.

The petition, filed through his brother Sudharm, claimed that Waze (49) was made a 'scapegoat' by 'certain political powers'.

A Habeas Corpus petition is usually filed to challenge `illegal' detention or arrest.

The plea, moved by his lawyer Sunny Punamiya, sought a direction to the NIA to produce Waze before the HC and to prove that due procedure was followed during the arrest.

The police officer was not provided a copy of the FIR and he was also not explained the reasons for arrest, nor was his family informed, the petition said.

The haste with which he was arrested showed that the central agency acted with malafide intentions, it alleged.

The NIA is probing the recovery of an explosives-laden Scorpio near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's multi-storey house `Antilia' here last month.

The case was taken over by the NIA after the mysterious death of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran who had claimed the vehicle had been stolen from his possession.

The petition said the allegations made by Hiran's wife, blaming Waze for her husband's death, were false.

After the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad registered an FIR against him, the 'entire media fraternity and society started targeting' him as they wanted a 'scapegoat to pin this entire conspiracy on', Waze claimed.

The petition is yet to be listed for hearing.

Meanwhile, arguing before a special court here, the NIA denied that Waze had been detained illegally before the arrest.

The special court had remanded Waze in the custody of the central agency till March 25 on Sunday.

Waze's lawyers had alleged during the remand hearing that he was illegally detained by the NIA officials from 11 am on Saturday and shown as arrested only late at night.

During the hearing on Monday, the NIA told the court that Waze was summoned by NIA officials on Saturday as he was the previous investigating officer of the SUV recovery case.

There were several discrepancies in case documents such as memos, seizure documents and station diary but Waze gave evasive answers when questioned, said special prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves.

He had come to the NIA office even without his mobile phones, the prosecutor said.

Since Waze did not provide satisfactory explanations about his probe, he was placed under arrest around 11.50 pm on Saturday, the agency claimed.

On Waze's allegation that his family was not informed, the agency said he refused to give their contact details, so his police station was informed about his arrest.

On defence's demand for CCTV cameras in the interrogation room, the NIA claimed that there are CCTV cameras in all the rooms at their office.

The defence lawyers asked the agency to submit the same in writing before the court.

The hearing will continue on Tuesday.

On Monday, the NIA also took Waze to the state-run J J hospital here for medical examination where he spent about four hours, a police official said.

Hospital sources said that he told NIA officials that he was a diabetic, hence he was taken for medical examination. PTI AYA AVI ZA KRK KRK