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Mumbai: Court rejects Waze’s plea claiming his arrest was not legal

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said that while Waze had sought protection under provisions available for officials performing official duty, he had nowhere said that the incident was part of his official duty as a Mumbai Police officer.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai |
March 17, 2021 12:22:38 am
Sachin Waze

A SPECIAL court on Tuesday rejected an application filed by suspended Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze claiming that his arrest was not legal since no sanction was obtained before arresting him. The court said the application was “premature”.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said that while Waze had sought protection under provisions available for officials performing official duty, he had nowhere said that the incident was part of his official duty as a Mumbai Police officer.

Waze was arrested on Saturday by the NIA in connection with the security scare outside the residence of Mukesh Ambani in South Mumbai.

Waze had said that a notification by the state government passed on May 23, 1979, mandated a sanction under section 45 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code before arresting certain categories of public officials discharging their duties. Since this was not done at the time of his arrest by the NIA, his arrest is not legal.

“The entire act of the accused (Waze) does not fall within the four corners of official duty. Let him say that he was performing his official duty at the time of the act,” argued special public prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves, representing the NIA, adding that a criminal offence by a police officer does not require a sanction for arrest.

Waze’s lawyer Sajal Yadav said there was no material produced to keep him in custody and that the notification included public officials like Waze, and hence a sanction should have been sought. Special Judge Prashant Sitre said that this can be decided at an appropriate stage and rejected the plea.

The court partly allowed another plea by Waze giving permission to his lawyer to be present at the time of his interrogation at a visible distance, to see him from a glass partition but not be within hearing range. It specified that Waze will not be allowed to have a consultation with his lawyer during the course of investigation.

The NIA prosecutor also submitted before the court that the NIA office has CCTV cameras including its lock-up and investigation room. Waze’s lawyers had filed a plea stating that there are no CCTV cameras in the interrogation room.

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