Antilia explosives scare: Waze seeks laptop in jail to write book, prepare defence; authorities oppose plea | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Antilia explosives scare: Waze seeks laptop in jail to write book, prepare defence; authorities oppose plea

ByRutuja Gaidhani
Feb 17, 2024 07:08 AM IST

Waze said that in order to prepare a proper defence for him, he must access, read, analyse and examine the contents of the evidence, which seemed impossible without a computer. Special judge AM Patil has posted the matter for hearing on February 28

MUMBAI: Dismissed police officer Sachin Waze, an accused in the Antilia bomb scare and businessman Mansukh Hiran murder case, has sought the court’s permission to have a laptop in prison to prepare his defence and to write a book. In the handwritten plea filed before a special NIA court, Waze said he has written various books in Marathi and English and claimed his book on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks has been translated to English from Marathi by a renowned author from England.

Mumbai, Dec 01 (ANI): Dismissed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze arrives to appear before the Chandiwal Commission, in Mumbai on Wednesday. The Commission was formed to probe former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s allegations of corruption against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. (ANI Photo) (Deepak Salvi)
Mumbai, Dec 01 (ANI): Dismissed Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze arrives to appear before the Chandiwal Commission, in Mumbai on Wednesday. The Commission was formed to probe former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh’s allegations of corruption against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. (ANI Photo) (Deepak Salvi)

Waze said that in order to prepare a proper defence for him, he must access, read, analyse and examine the contents of the evidence, which seemed impossible without a computer. Special judge AM Patil has posted the matter for hearing on February 28.

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“The free and fair trial is the sine qua non for Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It is well established that the undertrial prisoners are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. It is further well established that even convicts do not lose their fundamental rights which the citizens are otherwise entitled to. Under these circumstances, it is utmost essential that I must possess and access a computer, preferably a laptop computer while undergoing incarceration,” his plea stated, offering to comply with rules and paying electricity and network charges, if any.

“During the last stint in Mumbai Police, I was heading the Cyber Lab of the Detection Crime branch and was instrumental in solving various cases by forensically analysing mobile phones, CDRs, IPDRs, social media, etc. Thus, I have in-depth knowledge of cyber forensics, CCTV Footage analysis, mobile phone analysis, etc,” submitted Waze, adding that he held a patent and trademark for the world’s most encrypted and secured mobile phone ‘Trusto’.

He further stated that he had authored various books in Marathi and English, and that during his current incarceration, he planned to not only work on the extended edition of his previously published book in Marathi on 26/11 Mumbai Attacks but also undertake the process of authoring a treatise on Anti-Terrorism and allied laws.

NIA in its reply stated that the applicant was an expert in various computer software and was believed to have technical knowledge. The agency stressed on the gravity of the allegations against the accused and pointed out to the court that accepting such a plea will motivate other literate terrorists to request something similar with a high possibility of them using technology for anti-national activities.

It added that the prison was not manned by trained staff and therefore it would be impossible to independently monitor the accused’s use of the device.

Regarding his treatise, NIA mentioned that the prison did not have a system to check the material written by Waze. In fact, prior permission of the government must be sought to avoid any later investigation into the jail administration, the application said, adding the example of Pravin Mahajan, who was arrested for the murder of politician Pramod Mahajan. It was stated that Pravin’s writings from his time in prison before his death were ultimately published as a book, giving rise to a huge political storm.

On February 25, 2021, a Mahindra Scorpio was found abandoned outside Antilia with 20 gelatine sticks kept in a backpack and a note threatening the members of the Ambani family. On March 5, the body of the vehicle’s owner, Mansukh Hiren, was found dumped in the creek near Mumbra. According to the NIA which is investigating the case, Sachin Waze, who at that time was heading the Criminal Intelligence Unit of Mumbai police crime branch, had planted the explosives-laden vehicle.

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