Mumbai: A special court that recently rejected the plea of dismissed policeman Sachin Vaze who claimed bail and dropping of proceedings in the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) corruption case involving NCP leader Anil Deshmukh, has said in its detailed order that it is not possible to entertain the contention that once tendered pardon, a person ceases to be an accused and is entitled to be released on bail.
Court: Testimony yet to be recorded
Vaze had turned a prosecution witness in the case against his co-accused and offered to give full disclosure of the facts in his knowledge in exchange for pardon. The court had permitted his plea and tendered him pardon. Vaze had claimed bail on these grounds too. The court pointed out in its order that the trial is yet to begin in the case and his testimony is yet to be recorded.
It also stated that going by the mandatory provision that unless the person who was tendered pardon is on bail, he shall be detained in custody, he has to be detained similarly and cannot be granted bail before that. Special Judge SH Gwalani said in the order that the object, purpose and intention behind this is not be punish him for having agreed to give evidence for the state, but to protect him from the wrath of the co-accused since he has chosen to expose their deeds and thrown himself open to attack by the co-accused.
The prosecuting agency had opposed Vaze’s plea and submitted that his status is that of an accused approver and will remain so till the end of trial.
Vaze had allegedly made illegal collections from the city’s resto bars during the pandemic induced lockdown on the instructions of the then state home minister Deshmukh. The minister’s close staffers had helped in facilitating the collections.