After a Thane court issued a non-bailable warrant against former city police chief Param Bir Singh this week, another city court on Saturday issued a non-bailable warrant against him in an extortion case lodged against him in Goregaon police station, in which dismissed assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze is a co-accused among others.
The Goregaon FIR was lodged by a hotelier who complained of Singh and Vaze together extorting him of Rs 11.92 lakh. It was the fourth FIR to be lodged in August this year against Singh, who was also facing anti-corruption probes by then. The case came to be taken over by the crime branch later.
The hotelier had complained that he had started receiving extortion calls from Vaze and Vaze’s aides and had ended up paying a total amount of Rs 11.92 lakh to avoid trouble from the local police. The complaint was registered against Singh, Vaze and four others.
On Saturday, Vaze made a plea to stay the production warrant issued by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate SB Bhajipale in the same case. The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in whose custody Vaze is in the Antilia-Mansukh Hiran murder case, had on Friday directed that he be handed in custody of the investigating officer on November 1 for production before magistrate Bhajipale, as the latter had issued a production warrant against Vaze on Oct 11. The NIA court had noted that due to health reasons he could not be produced earlier, but now it seems he is fit to travel.
Vaze’s advocate Raunak Naik appeared before the magistrate on Saturday and cited medical grounds to stay his production as he said Vaze had undergone an eight-hour long heart surgery earlier this month. Vaze is not allowed to sit for long and eat certain kinds of food, which would not be possible in police custody, he told the court.
Prosecutor Shekhar Jagtap appearing for the crime branch opposed the plea and told the court that there is no provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure to stay a production warrant. He further argued that Vaze had remained present before the Chandiwal Commission for over five hours. Vaze had suggested in his plea that his interrogation be conducted instead in Taloja jail. The prosecution questioned if an accused has the privilege to choose the manner of interrogation. Magistrate Bhajipale rejected Vaze’s plea.