Monday, June 27News That Matters

Antilia bomb scare case: No bail for Waze; NIA gets more time to file charge sheet

Mumbai, August 5

A court here on Thursday gave the NIA one month’s time to file chargesheet in the case of an SUV with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence and murder of Mansukh Hiran, and rejected prime accused Sachin Waze’s plea for ‘default’ bail.

The bail application of Waze, a dismissed police officer, was “meritless” and wasted the court’s time, the judge said.

On June 9, the special NIA court had granted an extension of two months to the National Investigation Agency to submit its chargesheet.

The central agency later sought another extension, saying the investigation was still underway.

Waze, who has been dismissed from service, had sought bail on the ground that the probe agency failed to file the chargesheet within the stipulated time.

He was arrested on March 13, 2021, following the death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran who had claimed that the SUV found near Ambani’s south Mumbai residence ‘Antilia’ on February 25 had been stolen from his possession.

Besides Waze, former ‘encounter specialist’ officer Pradeep Sharma and a few other former policemen have been also arrested in the case.

Seeking bail, Waze had argued, citing an earlier ruling, that he was first arrested under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) provisions, and booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) later.

Hence, the NIA should have filed chargesheet within 90 days, as provided for offenses under the IPC, and not within 180 days as allowed under the UAPA, he contended.

He was thus entitled to default bail on the 91st day of his arrest in the absence of chargesheet, Waze submitted.

But judge D E Kothalikar rejected the argument, saying it was a “meritless application” and “precious time was wasted’ in its hearing.

It did not impose any cost on the accused considering that he was in jail, the court said.

The court had rejected a similar bail application by Waze in June too. PTI

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