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Waze was evasive, didn’t ask for legal counsel: NIA to court | India News – Times of India

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MUMBAI: When Sachin Waze came to the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) office on Saturday morning, he neither had his phone on him nor did he share the phone numbers of his family members to enable the officers to apprise them of his arrest late at night, the investigating agency told the special court on Monday.
Special public prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves said the NIA then informed Waze’s department of his arrest. “A police officer of his rank did not even carry his phones,” he said.
On Sunday, suspended API Waze was remanded to NIA custody until March 25 in connection with the probe into the recovery of explosives from an SUV found parked near businessman Mukesh Ambani’s south Mumbai residence on February 25.
During Monday’s hearing, defence advocate Sudeep Pasbola claimed that Waze was illegally detained prior to his production before court for his remand. Once an accused is arrested, he has to be produced before the court within 24 hours. Pasbola submitted that Waze was called on Saturday morning and shown arrested only late in the night; he was kept in illegal detention for more than 12 hours.
The NIA, however, claimed that Waze was called to their office at 11am in his capacity as the previous investigating officer in the case, and not as an accused. The agency said that Waze, who was called for some clarifications and for recording his statement, arrived around 11.30am.
The NIA further said that subsequently, it found that there were issues with his case diary and seizures, and that the memos were not prepared properly. Standing in the witness box, the investigating officer also told the court that when asked to clarify certain aspects, Waze did not give proper answers. He added that Waze, at one point, started “talking about something else”. The NIA said Waze was finally arrested at 11.50pm.
Replying to Pasbola’s submission that Waze was neither given his right to a legal counsel nor his family was informed of his arrest, Gonsalves said the claims were incorrect. In fact, Waze did not ask for legal counsel, Gonsalves said. “He’s a police officer and knows the provisions of the law… especially when he facing such grave charges. How can we tell him that he has a right to a legal counsel? Had he given the numbers of his family members, we would have contacted them,” he added.
The NIA said that Waze’s lawyer can remain present during some duration while the suspended police officer is in custody and the schedule will be decided on Tuesday.
The defence also raised the issue of no CCTV footage of Waze’s questioning, citing the guidelines which mandate the presence of cameras in interrogation rooms to ensure that third degree is not used. Gonsalves said that Waze was kept in the superintendent of police’s cabin from the time he arrived at the NIA office and not taken to the interrogation room. He submitted that while the NIA office has CCTV cameras, the SP’s cabin did not. He added that the interrogation room has a video camera, but there is no audio.
When Pasbola said the NIA should put this down in writing, Gonsalves said that he would do it on Tuesday.
The hearing will continue on Tuesday.

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