Mumbai: Sachin Vaze to be prosecution witness against Anil Deshmukh, others

Being a prosecution witness or approver, a person involved in an offence gives evidence in court against the accused and is granted a pardon for such cooperation

Bhavna UchilUpdated: Wednesday, June 01, 2022, 10:16 PM IST
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Sachin Vaze to be prosecution witness against Anil Deshmukh, others | PTI

Mumbai: A special court on Wednesday permitted dismissed policeman Sachin Vaze to become a prosecution witness in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) corruption case against former state home minister and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh and others and allowed his plea for grant of pardon.

Being a prosecution witness or approver, a person involved in an offence gives evidence in court against the accused and is granted a pardon for such cooperation. On Wednesday, Vaze was produced before the court through video conference from Taloja jail where he is lodged. The court explained to him that he would be required to make full disclosure on the circumstances related to the offence. Vaze had given a statement before a magistrate disclosing facts. The court informed him that he would be required to disclose all facts mentioned before the magistrate and also truthfully answer all questions put to him by the CBI prosecutor. Vaze accepted the conditions and the court permitted his plea to be an approver in the case.

In his application to be made an approver, Vaze cited the voluntary statement he had made before the magistrate and said that he had extended cooperation to the CBI at various stages. He contended that his statement had helped the CBI to get to the true facts of the case.

The CBI had consented to make him its witness and cited that he had voluntarily revealed various incriminating facts regarding the case. Further, it added in its reply filed before the court to his plea, that his role is that of an accomplice or a facilitator of the commission of offence. Moreover, he is aware of the modus operandi adopted by the others and also has first-hand knowledge of their roles, it said. The agency then said that it has no objection if Vaze’s plea to become an approver is permitted by the court.

As per the CBI’s case, Deshmukh had instructed Vaze and made illegal collections from orchestra bars and restaurants in the city in exchange for letting them operate at relaxed timings during the COVID-induced lockdown. His personal secretary Sanjeev Palande and personal assistant Kundan Shinde had colluded in the offence.

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