New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In its plea seeking suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze's custody, the NIA has claimed that he used his own government vehicle to accompany the explosives-laden SUV and then himself drove the police vehicle to the 'scene of crime' on February 25. 

Times of India, in its report, quoted sources saying that Waze drove the Innova which tailed the explosives-laden Scorpio to a spot near Ambani's residence 'Antalia'. 

During the investigation, a policeman, who was the official driver of the Innova, told the NIA that he parked the vehicle inside the police headquarters after his duty on February 24 and went home. The probe agency is yet to find out who drove the Innova to Thane, where Waze resides.  

The NIA, which conducted searches at Waze's residence and office on Tuesday, said that a Mercedes which Waze, an assistant police inspector, was using was seized and Rs 5 lakh cash was recovered from it.

The National Investigation Agency team also recovered some "incriminating" documents and electronic evidence such as laptop, iPad and mobile phones from Waze's office. 

The black Mercedes was seized from a parking lot near CSMT station, and Rs 5 lakh in cash, a note-counting machine, two number plates and some clothes were recovered from it, said Inspector General of NIA Anil Shukla.

The NIA has so far recorded statements of seven officials of Crime Branch including an Assistant Commissioner of Police.

The agency also questioned, on the third consecutive day, CIU's Assistant Police Inspector (API) Riyazuddin Kazi, he added.

Kazi had collected Digital Video Record (DVR) of CCTVs from the housing society in Saket area of Thane where Waze lived on February 27, two days after the explosives-laden Scorpio was found on Carmichael Road near Ambani's house.

The probe agency suspects that it was collected to destroy evidence which could implicate Waze himself, the official said. During the search, the DVR was seized. The wife of businessman Mansukh Hiran, who had claimed the Scorpio was stolen from his possession and who died mysteriously, has alleged that the SUV was being used by Waze for some time.

API Kazi had also allegedly procured fake number plates found in the SUV, the police official claimed. The SUV case was taken over by the NIA following Mansukh Hiran's death.

A special court on Sunday remanded Waze in the custody of the central agency till March 25. On Tuesday, the court rejected Waze's plea claiming that his arrest was illegal.

His lawyers Sajal Yadav and Sunny Punamiya had argued that Waze was not produced before the courtwithin 24 hours after his arrest, as is required.

No sanction was taken from the state government under section 45(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the lawyers contended. Under section 45(1), sanction of the government is necessary if an official is to be arrested for anything done in his/her official capacity.

Special public prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves denied the allegations. Waze was arrested at 11.50 PM on Saturdayand produced before the court at about 2.45 PM next day, he said.

Waze had been called in the morning for some clarification about the probe but he arrived late at night, the prosecutor claimed. Waze's lawyers had alleged he had been detained since 11 AM on Saturday.

Sanction was not needed as Waze had not acted in discharge of his official duty, the NIA lawyer said.

Judge P R Sitre, while rejecting Waze's plea, observed that he was a policeman and knew his rights.

"The entry in the station diary clearly reflects that intimation was provided to the accused and the concerned police station and also information about his arrest, which means grounds of arrest were provided," the judge said.

Whether he hadacted "in the course of performance of duty" can be examined during the trial, the court held.

The court allowed Waze's lawyer to watch his interrogation from behind a glass partition but not within the hearing distance.

Speaking to reporters here, BJP leader Pravin Darekar said the more the ruling Shiv Sena defended Waze, the more suspicion there will be about the state government's intentions.

The Sena had on Monday said take-over of the case by the NIA was "insult" to Maharashtra police.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta