Dismissed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze was granted bail by a special court in a money laundering case related to former Maharashtra minister Anil Deshmukh, reported PTI.

Vaze, however, will not be freed as he is accused in other cases, including a bomb scare incident near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s home in Mumbai and the subsequent murder of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran.

The money laundering case is related to accusations made by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh who had written to former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in March last year alleging that Deshmukh had asked some officers to extort Rs 100 crore every month from bars and restaurants in the city.

The economic intelligence agency has claimed that more than Rs 4 crore collected from bar owners in Mumbai between December 2020 and February next year was routed to Deshmukh’s charitable trust in Nagpur through four shell companies in Delhi.

This was Vaze’s second application for bail under Section 88 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which deals with cases where the applicant has been remanded in judicial custody without having been arrested under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Vaze has never been arrested in the case though he has been named as an accused person.

In his bail plea, Vaze had argued that since he was not arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the rigour of the law will not be applicable to him. He had also cited the bail granted to Deshmukh by the Bombay High Court.

Antilla bomb scare case

In February last year, 20 gelatin sticks were recovered from a car found less than 2km from industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s multi-storey home in Mumbai. On March 5, 2021, Hiren, who reportedly owned the vehicle, was found dead in a creek in Mumbai.

The agency had named Vaze as the main accused in the bomb threat case. On April 12, 2021, 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.