Antilia case: A special court today extended the NIA custody of suspended Mumbai cop Sachin Vaze till April 9 while also allowing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to question the controversial cop as part of its preliminary probe against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. The CBI had submitted an application in the special NIA court seeking permission to investigate the suspended assistant police inspector during its preliminary inquiry over extortion allegations against Deshmukh. Vaze is currently under NIA custody.
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has alleged that Anil Deshmukh, when he was home minister, had instructed Sachin Vaze to help him collect Rs 100 crore from 1750 restaurants and bars operating in Mumbai. In a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, Param Bir Singh had given details of meetings between Deshmukh and Sachin Vaze at the former’s official residence, Dyaneshwar.
Following these charges against the sitting Home minister, a number of petitions were filed in the Bombay High Court seeking a probe by the CBI. Hearing a bunch of pleas, the High Court on Monday directed the central investigating agency to start a preliminary inquiry and decide the future course of action if anything is found.
The CBI today approached the NIA Court seeking permission to investigate Vaze. While the NIA is investigating the recovery of gelatin sticks from an SUV parked outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence and the Mansukh Hiren death case, the CBI will be probing the extortion allegations by Param Bir against Deshmukh.
Today, the NIA sought custody of Vaze for 4 more days. Vaze’s lawyer did not oppose the NIA’s demand, and also said that Vaze was ready to cooperate with the CBI. The lawyer, however, registered his objection on Vaze being taken to CSMT station with handcuffs on.
The NIA also sought judicial custody of suspended Mumbai Police constables Vinayak Shinde and Naresh Dhare who were arrested in connection with the Mansukh Hiren death case.