A special court in Mumbai on Monday rejected a petition filed by the National Investigation Agency for the custody of suspended police officers Sachin Vaze and Sunil Mane in connection with its investigation into the Antilia bomb threat case, Live Law reported.
Vaze’s lawyer told the court that doctors had advised him to immediately undergo a heart surgery, The Indian Express reported. The former police officer, who is presently in Taloja jail along with Mane, said he didn’t want to die like tribal rights activist Stan Swamy.
Swamy, one of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, had died in custody in July after being repeatedly denied bail despite his frail health.
The special NIA court then allowed Vaze to get admitted to hospital for treatment, according to Bar and Bench.
On February 25, 20 gelatin sticks had been recovered from a car found less than 2km from industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s multi-storey home in Mumbai. On March 5, Mansukh Hiren, who reportedly owned the vehicle, was found dead in a creek in Mumbai.
After taking over the case, the NIA on March 13 arrested Vaze for his alleged links with Hiren. He was suspended two days later.
The agency had alleged that Vaze was the main accused in the bomb threat case, the Hindustan Times reported. On April 12, it arrested Riyazuddin Kazi, an associate of Vaze, who allegedly helped him acquire fake number plates used for the explosives-laden vehicle.
Kazi also allegedly helped Vaze get rid of the evidence linking him to the case.
Meanwhile, Mane was jailed on April 23. Pradeep Sharma, known as Mumbai police’s “encounter specialist”, and four other people who allegedly strangled Hiren and threw his body into the creek have also been arrested, according to the Hindustan Times.
The NIA, while seeking Vaze and Mane’s custody on Saturday, had said: “After the arrest of the last five accused, we have found some new things that we need to confront Vaze and Mane with.”
The investigating agency added that there were only two days remaining of Vaze’s custody, while Mane’s would come to an end in 16 days, according to the newspaper.
“Vaze and Mane, both being (former) police officers, were well-aware of the tricks to evade interrogations by the investigating agency with wrong leads,” the NIA said, according to the Hindustan Times. “However, the agency now has some incriminating material that needs to be confronted with them.”