The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has opposed dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze's plea seeking temporary transfer from the Taloja prison to house arrest in the Bombay High Court saying Waze, being a "highly influential person," may abscond and "tamper with prosecution witnesses", if let out of the prison.
In an affidavit filed before the high court on Tuesday, the NIA said Waze was accused of "serious offences", including being part of the conspiracy to kill businessman Mansukh Hiran and planting an explosives-laden vehicle near the residence of industrialist Mukesh Ambani in south Mumbai.
"If any House Arrest (custody) is granted to the petitioner accused, there is every likelihood that said petitioner accused will abscond from the jurisdiction of this Hon',ble court and will tamper with the prosecution witnesses including the protected witnesses who allegedly were his associates," the affidavit reads.
"And it is not difficult for the petitioner accused to figure out who they are, even though the fact is that their identity and addresses are protected since the petitioner accused is a highly influential person in the area of Mumbai," it reads.
The affidavit was submitted in response to a plea filed by Waze earlier this month seeking that he be shifted from judicial custody to house arrest for his post-operative care following bypass surgery.
Waze had requested the court that he be permitted to remain under house arrest till he recovered fully.
The NIA however, said in the affidavit that Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai had required facilities for Waze's post-operative care and that if required, he could be taken to the state-run JJ Hospital in Mumbai.
Waze had sought parity with Elgar Parishad accused Varavara Rao, who had been granted interim medical bail in February this year owing to his advanced age and worsening health.
The NIA said in its affidavit that Waze's case was different from that of Rao and while the latter had been granted medical bail, Waze was asking for continuing judicial custody in the form of house arrest.
A bench of justices Nitin Jamdar and SV Kotwal on Tuesday directed Waze's counsel, advocate Raunak Naik, to place on record Waze's post-surgery medical papers.
The high court also directed the state prison authorities to submit Waze's latest medical reports.
It will hear the plea further next month.