A special court on Monday refused to grant the National Investigation Agency (NIA) the custody of dismissed police officer Sachin Waze for questioning in the Antilia bomb scare case and allowed him to get admitted at a private hospital for treatment of his heart ailment after he said he doesn’t want to become “another Stan Swamy”.
Special judge Prashant R Sitre permitted Mr Waze (49), who is currently in jail under judicial custody, to get admitted to a private hospital in Thane for treatment for his heart ailment. The cost of such treatment is to be borne by Mr Waze and his family, the court said.
Mr Waze, through his lawyer, senior advocate Sudeep Pasbola, had earlier told the court that three of his arteries had “90 per cent blockage” and that doctors had advised immediate surgery for the same.
He urged the court to permit him to seek private medical treatment, saying he did not wish to “die in custody like (tribal rights activist and Jesuit priest) Stan Swamy”.
Mr Swamy (84), an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoists links case, had died on July 5 in a private hospital in suburban Bandra, while awaiting medical bail.
Last week, the NIA had filed an application before the special court seeking the custody of Mr Waze for two days, and of his co-accused and former police officer Sunil Mane for five days in the Antilia bomb scare case.
Mr Waze and Mr Mane, along with eight other accused in the case, are currently in judicial custody.
The special court on Monday also refused to grant the NIA, Mr Mane’s custody. Previously, the central agency had Mr Waze in its custody for 28 days and Mr Mane for 15 days.
On Monday, the NIA sought further custody, saying it required to question Mr Waze and Mr Mane to corroborate statements of witnesses.
Advocate Pasbola, however, objected to the same and said doctors at government-run JJ Hospital in the metropolis, where Mr Waze had been taken from Navi Mumbai’s Taloja jail prison earlier this month, had advised him to undergo a bypass surgery without any delay.
Mr Pasbola produced three medical reports to show Mr Waze’s need for immediate medical aid. He said nothing was more important than a person’s life and that the NIA’s probe would be futile if Mr Waze died awaiting medical treatment.
“Nothing is more important than the life of a person. The investigation will be futile if the person does not survive,” Mr Pasbola said. “We don’t want him to become another Stan Swamy,” he said.
The judge then asked Mr Waze, who had been produced before the court, if he wished to say anything.
Mr Waze said in Marathi then that he did not want to become “another Stan Swamy.”
The court, in its order, directed the Taloja prison authorities to take Mr Waze to the private SS Hospital and Research Centre in Bhiwandi town of Thane district for treatment.
It also directed the Taloja prison Superintendent to submit Mr Waze’s medical report before the court every 15 days if the former police officer was admitted to the hospital.
An explosives-laden vehicle was found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s south Mumbai residence on February 25. Mansukh Hiran, a Thane-based businessman, had claimed to be the owner of the vehicle.
Mr Hiran, who had said his vehicle had been stolen a week earlier, was found dead in a creek in Thane on March 5.
The NIA claimed Mr Waze was involved in the planting of the explosives and Mr Hiran’s murder and arrested him on March 13. He was later dismissed from police service.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)