Mumbai News: Dismissed Police Officer Sachin Vaze Approaches Sessions Court, Seeking Pardon In Khwaja Yunus Custodial Death Case

Mumbai News: Dismissed Police Officer Sachin Vaze Approaches Sessions Court, Seeking Pardon In Khwaja Yunus Custodial Death Case

Vaze submitted a four-page long handwritten application, stating that the prosecution had nowhere said he was involved in the alleged murder nor had the body of Yunus been identified

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 10:32 AM IST
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Dismissed Police Officer Sachin Vaze Approaches Sessions Court, Seeking Pardon In Khwaja Yunus Custodial Death Case | File Photo

Dismissed police officer Sachin Vaze has approached the sessions court, seeking a pardon in the Khwaja Yunus custodial death case, citing the delay in trial. However, at the same time, he has denied his role and involvement in the case. Vaze submitted a four-page long handwritten application, stating that the prosecution had nowhere said he was involved in the alleged murder nor had the body of Yunus been identified.

However, he prayed to the court to record his statement, wherein he had agreed to make full and true disclosure of the facts of the case and sought pardon. “I have been suffering because of the pendency of this matter for the last 20 years. This is not only abuse of the process of law but it has been harming my livelihood, reputation and status in society. Being arraigned as an accused in the case, the Indian Criminal Jurisprudence does not give me opportunity my case until the ending part of the trial,” Vaze said in his plea.

He further expressed that “the crucial aspect of this case is pending before the Hon. Supreme Court. Its outcome is unlikely in the near future. The restarting of the trial does not seem to be in the near future and thus, the end will take another some years. The agony I am facing will be endless.”

Who was Khwaja Yunus?

Yunus, a 27-year-old software engineer, had been arrested by the police in connection with a bomb blast on a BEST bus in Ghatkopar. The custodial death of Yunus was probed by the state CID. After completing its inquiry into Yunus’s death, the state CID had filed a chargesheet against 14 officers.

However, the state government only sanctioned the prosecution of four of those named in the chargesheet. The refusal has been challenged by Yunus’s mother and is pending before the Supreme Court. In these circumstances, Vaze has said, “I have decided to stand by my conscience and thus, I wish to make full and true disclosure within my knowledge relative to the offence and to every other person concerned, whether as a principal or as an abettor, in the commission thereof.”

Sachin Vaze's claims

However, while pleading for pardon and requesting the court to record his statement in the matter, Vaze has said that he played no role in either the murder or in the disappearance of Yunus.

“It is the prosecution’s case that I have neither assaulted the disappeared terrorist Khwaja Yunus nor have I committed his murder. It is the prosecution’s case that someone else assaulted him and thereby caused his murder. It is the prosecution’s case that I’ve carried somebody else in place of Khwaja Yunus and by creating fake accident theory. Thus, as per the prosecution’s case, my alleged involvement comes only after the alleged murder. It is pertinent to note that even the escaped person is yet to be traced,” Vaze said in his plea.

He further said that Yunus was not identified by the Lonavla police, who had probed the alleged accident wherein Yunus was the same person who was carried by Vaze on January 6, 2003. Moreover, he said that he had “joined the investigation in the Ghatkopar Bomb Blast case only on January 6, 2003, and I did not have any mechanism or authority to verify the identity of the already arrested terrorists.”

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