Mumbai: Riyaz Kazi sent to judicial custody till April 23; Sachin Vaze allowed weekly calls with advocate

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Friday remanded suspended Assistant Police Inspector Riyazuddin Kazi in judicial custody till 23 April after the NIA did not seek his further custody for investigation in the Antilia bomb scare - Mansukh Hiran murder case.

Upon a plea by Kazi’s former head in the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) Sachin Vaze to be allowed to speak from prison with his advocate, the court allowed him to have weekly calls of 15 minutes.

Kazi was produced before the holiday court in the afternoon. After the NIA did not seek his further custody and he was remanded in judicial custody, his advocate Hasnain Kazi made a plea before the court that appropriate measures be taken for Kazi’s safety in prison considering the sensitivity of the case. The court directed the jail authorities to ensure his safety. Earlier, Vaze had made a similar plea for a secure cell after he was remanded in judicial custody on 9 April. He had claimed threat to life as he had investigated many cases as a police officer. The court had passed a similar order for him too.

On Friday, Kazi, through his advocate, also made a plea for carrying cash to use in the jail. Special NIA judge RR Bhosale rejected the plea and said that only money order can be sent to jail.

Vaze’s plea to be allowed to speak with his advocate for 20 minutes every week had stated that, “The prevailing circumstances are crucial for which the accused needs to instruct his lawyers for effective representation so as to explore his legal remedies before different fora.” It further stated that he was allowed to speak on 12 April and 15 April for five minutes, after which the call was disconnected. The plea said that he could not instruct his lawyers properly which has caused grave prejudice to his legal rights as an undertrial prisoner.

The NIA claims Vaze orchestrated the security scare outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence in which an explosives laden Scorpio car traced to auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran, was parked outside his Antilia residence. It has alleged Kazi played a role in destroying evidence in the case such as the CCTV footage of Vaze’s residence where the Scorpio was allegedly parked before the incident. A few days after the security scare incident, Hiran’s body was found in the Thane creek.

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