HC issues notice to CBI on Sachin Waze’s bail plea | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC issues notice to CBI on Sachin Waze’s bail plea

BySahyaja MS
May 30, 2024 08:14 AM IST

Former Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze challenges unjust detention in corruption case against Anil Deshmukh, seeks default bail. Court issues notice to CBI.

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a plea filed by former Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze challenging his unjust detention in the corruption case against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.

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Waze claims that he has been in jail for two years with no chargesheet filed against him and therefore he should be granted default bail under the existing provisions.

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Waze has challenged the constitutionality of Section 306(4)(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which mandates that a pardoned person remain in detention until the trial concludes, effectively denying them the benefits of both an accused and a witness.

Waze’s legal team, comprising advocates Aabad Ponda, Sajal Yadav, and Rounak Naik, presented his case before a vacation bench of justices N R Borkar and Somasekhar Sundaresan. They informed the bench that Waze had handwritten his petition from Taloja Central Prison and suggested that the plea could be heard after the high court’s vacation while requesting the court to issue a notice to the prosecution.

In his handwritten petition, Waze argued that his detention was unconstitutional, given that he had been granted a pardon by the trial court in Mumbai in June 2022. He claimed that no chargesheet has been filed against him and therefore he should be granted default bail under the existing provisions. He cited several Supreme Court precedents, asserting that “the end of law is not to abolish or restrain but preserve and enlarge freedom.”

Despite his pardon, Waze contended that he remains unduly detained as an accused, although he is technically a witness for the prosecution. He emphasised that his detention is both objectionable and illogical, as it undermines the purpose of the pardon.

Advocate Ponda argued, “It is completely unfair for a person to stay behind bars under Section 306(4) of the CrPC. There is no chargesheet, and he has been behind bars for over two years. He is an approver, so there is no chargesheet against him, and he is never going to get convicted or go to jail, as he is a witness. While everyone else has been granted bail, the trial will continue for 20 years. This is a challenge under Article 21 (Protection of life and liberty).”

Following the arguments, the bench directed the issuance of a notice and adjourned the hearing of the petition to June 14.

Waze, Deshmukh, and two others were arrested in the CBI case in April 2022. Waze applied for a pardon under Section 306 of the CrPC in June 2022 through his lawyer Rounak Naik. On Deshmukh’s instructions, Waze allegedly collected bribes from restaurant and bar owners between December 2020 and March 2021.

Waze continues to face charges in cases filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The NIA alleges that he planted explosives in a vehicle parked near businessman Mukesh Ambani’s residence and conspired to kill a man linked to the vehicle.

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