No illegality in ex-Mumbai Police cop Sachin Vaze’s arrest: NIA court
The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court Tuesday on Tuesday rejected suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze’s claim that his arrest by NIA was illegal. The court also rejected his claim that no sanction of the government prior to his arrest was obtained as his actions were part of his police duty.
Special NIA judge Prashant Sitre, while rejecting Vaze’s plea, observed, “It is an admitted fact that the accused was a police person, and hence, is in the knowing about his right. The entry in the station diary clearly reflects that intimation was provided to the accused and the police station concerned, so also, the information about his arrest. It means the grounds of arrest were provided to accused.”
“This is the type of case where the prosecution must be given an opportunity to establish its case by evidence and an opportunity given to the defence to establish that he [Vaze] had been acting in the official course of his duty. The question whether the respondent 1 [Vaze] acted in the course of performance of duties and/or whether the defence is pretended or fanciful can only be examined during the course of trial,” the court held.
The judge allowed Vaze’s lawyer to remain present during the investigation, but at a distance.
Vaze’s lawyers had claimed: “The applicant was not produced within 24 hours after his arrest, nor was he provided an opportunity to take the opinion of his advocate. The ground of the arrest was also not provided to the applicant’s family.”
The lawyers also submitted that no sanction prior to the arrest was obtained. As per the notification dated May 23, 2019, consent is required under section 45(1) (protection of members of the armed forces from arrest) of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
NIA prosecutor Sunil Gonsalvis contested the plea and argued that Vaze was arrested on March 13 at 11.50pm, while he was produced before the court at 2.45pm the next day, within 24 hours after the arrest.
“The accused is a police person and is well aware about his right. Also, the accused never expressed to meet an advocate of his choice, and hence, there is no question of denying the opportunity,” Gonsalvis argued.
The NIA prayed for the rejection of the plea, claiming that when Vaze was called for probe, he came from his office and had intentionally not carried out any mobile phone, and hence, was unable to inform his family. “But the IO (investigating officer) informed the police station concerned accordingly. When the accused was arrested, due process of law was followed,” NIA claimed.
The agency also claimed that no sanction is required to arrest the accused, because he has not acted in discharge of his official duty. There is no nexus between action and duty of the accused and hence it prayed to reject the application.