A Thane court on Saturday rejected the interim bail plea of Sachin Vaze, a senior police officer of the Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch, reported NDTV. Vaze is an accused in the death of Mumbai-based automobile parts dealer Mansukh Hiran.

The court refused to grant relief to Vaze, observing that Hiran was found to have spent time with the police officer on February 27 and February 28. Hiran’s body was discovered on March 5.

“The custodial interrogation of [the] applicant is necessary,” the court said. It added that that the say of anti-terrorism squad’s investigating officer is needed and hearing for the same will take place on March 19.

Meanwhile, the National Investigation Agency summoned Vaze to its office on Saturday in connection with the case involving an SUV found with explosives outside Reliance Industries chairperson Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Mumbai on February 25. Hiran was the reported owner of the car.

Vaze had filed an anticipatory bail in Thane sessions court on Friday, the Hindustan Times reported.

The police officer, who was the Mumbai Police Crime Branch’s assistant police inspector, has been transferred to the Citizen Facilitation Centre unit till the investigation into the death of Hiran is completed. Earlier, Vaze was the investigating officer in the bomb scare case before Assistant Commissioner of Police Nitin Alakhnure replaced him.

In her statement to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, Hiran’s wife, Vimla Hiran alleged that her husband was murdered and that Vaze was involved. She also claimed that Vaze had asked her husband to get arrested in the case, and promised to bail him out in a few days.

The case so far

Twenty gelatin sticks were recovered from a black Scorpio found less than two kilometres from Ambani’s multi-storey home Antilia on February 25. The police had said that the gelatin recovered from the car was the commercial type that is used in mining and construction.

The police then located Mansukh Hiran, who was the SUV’s registered owner. He told the police that his car broke down on February 16, after which he parked it on the Mulund-Airoli Link Road. He alleged that the vehicle was stolen from there.

Hiran’s body was recovered from a creek near Mumbai last week. The police said that he died by suicide. The Opposition in Maharashtra, however, claimed that the death was suspicious and demanded that the case be transferred to the National Investigation Agency.

The Maharashtra ATS filed a murder case on Monday. However, the case was taken over by the National Investigation Agency. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that there was something “fishy” about the NIA taking over the investigation into the bomb threat. Deshmukh had also clarified on Monday that the state ATS will alone investigate the death of the reported owner of the explosives-laden car.