Mansukh Hiran was a co-conspirator along with suspended police officer Sachin Waze in planting the explosives-laden SUV outside the south Mumbai residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani in February, the NIA told the special court in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Seeking extension of Mr Waze’s custody, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh told the court that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had come across a bank account in the name of a company floated by Mr Waze which had the balance of Rs 1.5 crore.
The NIA probe also found that Mr Waze had given the total amount of Rs 76 lakh- Rs 40 lakh and Rs 36 lakh- to his aides.
The NIA is probing the cases of planting of the explosives-laden SUV outside the south Mumbai residence of Mr Ambani and the subsequent murder of Thane-based businessman Hiran, the purported owner of that vehicle.
The probe agency said it wanted to question Mr Waze whether part of this money was used to procure the gelatin sticks which were planted in the SUV parked outside Mr Ambani’s residence on February 25.
Mr Singh said the NIA need to question Waze, a suspended assistant police inspector, about the source of such a huge amount and whether it was exrotred by the police officer.
After listening to the arguments of the NIA and Mr Waze’s lawyer, special NIA court judge P R Sitre extended his custody to the probe agency till April 9.
Mr Singh said the NIA needs more time to unearth the cash trail from the existing bank accounts of Mr Waze.
The NIA said Mr Waze and other accused had hatched the conspiracy to eliminate Hiran on March 2 and March 3.
Mr Hiran was a co-conspirator in the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case, and was killed later, Mr Singh said, adding the NIA also needs to find the motive behind Hiran’s murder.
Mr Waze is directly connected with the Hiran murder case, Mr Singh added.
Mr Hiran’s body was found in a creek in Thane district on March 5.
Mr Waze’s lawyer Abad Ponda opposed the NIA plea seeking extension of Mr Waze’s custody.
Mr Waze, who was arrested by the NIA on March 13, was produced before the special NIA court judge on Wednesday.
Two other accused in the case — suspended police constable Vinayak Shinde and cricket bookie Naresh Gor –were remanded to 14-day judicial custody by the court.
Meanwhile, the court also allowed the CBI to question Mr Waze in connection with its preliminary enquiry into the allegations of corruption levelled by senior police officer Param Bir Singh against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh.
Earlier in the day CBI had approached the court to probe Mr Waze, while he was in the NIA’s custody.
In a related development, the special court directed the NIA to provide the required medical aid and to produce his medical report by April 9.
The court’s direction came on the plea filed by Mr Waze seeking angiography.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)