Ambani bomb scare case: NIA slaps stringent UAPA against Sachin Vaze
Vaze, an assistant police inspector (API) with the Mumbai Police, is currently in NIA's custody for his alleged role in planting an explosive-laden SUV near Mukesh Ambani's residence, Antilia, in Mumbai.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has slapped the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against suspended police officer Sachin Vaze, officials said on Wednesday. Vaze is currently in NIA's custody for his alleged role in planting an explosive-laden SUV near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence in Mumbai on February 25.
Vaze, an assistant police inspector (API) with the Mumbai Police, has been charged under sections 16 and 18 of the UAPA, officials said. These deal with an individual/group conspiring or attempt to commit or advocates, abets, the commission of a terrorist act or any act preparatory to the commission of a terror act.
The agency had detained Vaze earlier this month, before formally arresting him on March 13. He was the lead investigator in the case before it was transferred to the NIA by the Union home ministry. Separately, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has called him the "mastermind" behind the murder of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiran, who was the owner of the Scorpio which was found near Antilia, the Ambanis' residence.
The NIA has been tasked with probing Hiran's death as well. The home ministry transferred the case to it on March 20. The ATS was on Wednesday evening directed by Thane sessions court to hand over the probe to the central agency.
Vaze's name has also cropped up in connection with an alleged extortion racket in Mumbai. Param Bir Singh, who was shunted from the post of Mumbai Police commissioner to commandant general, Home Guards, last week, has accused state home minister Anil Deshmukh of tasking Vaze with collecting ₹100 crore per month from bars, restaurants and hotels in the city.
The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has refused to sack or suspend Deshmukh, who has denied Singh's allegations and threatened to sue him for defamation.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court dismissed Singh's plea seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against the home minister, asking the senior officer to approach Bombay High Court first.