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Khwaja Yunus custodial death: Mumbai court seeks progress report of case stalled since 2018

The court also directed that dismissed cop Sachin Waze, who is also an accused in this case, be produced before it via video conference.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
July 28, 2021 10:50:10 am
Khwaja Yunus (File Photo)

Over three years since the trial in the custodial death case of 27-year old software engineer Khwaja Yunus has been stalled, the sessions court on Tuesday directed the deputy commissioner of CID to attend court personally on the next date with requisite information about the appointment of a special public prosecutor.

The court also directed that dismissed cop Sachin Waze, who is also an accused in this case, be produced before it via video conference. Waze was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in March this year for his alleged involvement in planting explosives in an SUV near the Ambani residence and the subsequent murder of a man linked to the SUV and has been lodged in Taloja central jail. The court has issued a production warrant for Waze to be produced on the next date via VC.

“Issue letter to the State DCP State CID, CBD Belapur. He is directed to attend Court personally on the next date with requisite information about the appointment of special public prosecution by state the government. SPP has been absent for more than three years and the case held up. He shall produce documents about steps taken by his office to proceed with this case since 2018,” the court said on Tuesday. The court was informed that separate petitions related to the case filed by Yunus’ mother and the accused are pending before Bombay High Court and Supreme Court. The court also directed the chief public prosecutor to inform it regarding the progress in the proceedings on these petitions.

Waze and three other constables are facing trial on charges of murder and destruction of evidence for the alleged custodial death of Yunus, a Parbhani resident, who was arrested in 2002 along with others in the Ghatkopar blast case. The others arrested with him had given testimony that they had seen Yunus being beaten up by the police. Yunus was last seen alive on January 6, 2003 after which the police team led by Waze had claimed that he had escaped from custody. The CID had filed an FIR against Waze and three others stating that Yunus had not escaped but had died in custody.

In April 2018, the state government had removed a special public prosecutor appointed for the trial. The notification removing Dhiraj Mirajkar came days after he moved a plea seeking to add four more policemen as accused in the case. The trial has been pending since. While Waze and the three policemen were suspended in 2004, they were reinstated last year in June. Waze was then arrested in March in the terror scare case and was dismissed from the force in May this year.

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