The Mumbai police can now use the Qualis in which three top police officers — Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar — were killed during the November 26, 2008, terror attack.
The special court on Friday permitted the police to repair and use the vehicle.
The police will, however, have to furnish a bond of Rs 60,000 to secure the bullet-ridden vehicle from the special court. It will also have to ensure that the Qualis is produced before the court whenever required.
Special Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had sought custody of the vehicle after depositions by Assistant Commissioner of Police (Pydhonie region) Shantilal Bhamre and by tea stall vendor Santosh Pawar who identified it in court on Thursday.
Nikam had contended that the vehicle would rust if left unused, and the court had accepted his contention.
The Qualis had been assigned to Bhamre and its panchnama was conducted in Pawar’s presence. In his deposition, Bhamre said he had reached Cama Hospital at 11.45 pm and the three officers had taken the vehicle assigned to him.
“Karkare had taken the Qualis without informing me. I was about 25-30 ft from the vehicle when the slain officers boarded it,” he said in cross-examination conducted by defence counsel Abbas Kazmi.
Pawar told the court that an AK-47 rifle, two pistols and a carbine were recovered from the Qualis taken by suspected Lashkar operative Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab and his slain partner Ismail Khan after killing the three officers.
During cross-examination, the panch witness said the three bullets that were shown recovered from the Qualis had not been seized in his presence.