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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Khwaja Yunus custodial death case State objects to Wazes application to turn approver

Khwaja Yunus custodial death case: State objects to Waze’s application to turn approver

Updated on: 02 March,2024 07:20 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Jyoti Punwani |

Special public prosecutor’s reply to plea cites contradictions made by the accused ex-cop at different times regarding his role in the case

Khwaja Yunus custodial death case: State objects to Waze’s application to turn approver

Former police officer Sachin Waze on March 9, 2004. File pic

Key Highlights

  1. The state has objected to Sachin Waze’s application to turn approver
  2. Waze is the prime accused in the case
  3. Special Public Prosecutor Pradip D Gharat cited a number of grounds for the objection

The state has objected to former police officer Sachin Waze’s application to turn approver in the custodial death case of Khwaja Yunus. Waze is the prime accused in the case. In his reply filed on Thursday, Special Public Prosecutor Pradip D Gharat cited a number of grounds for the objection, including contradictions in Waze’s statements made at different times regarding his role in the case, which could lead to the possibility of him ‘misleading’ the court.

Waze and three policemen are accused in the death of 27-year-old software engineer Khwaja Yunus, who was arrested in the Ghatkopar bomb blast case which killed two people in December 2002. In January 2003, Yunus was said to have ‘escaped’ when the vehicle in which he was supposedly being taken to Aurangabad met with an accident. He was never seen again.

A court-directed inquiry conducted by the state CID alleged that 14 policemen had connived in the custodial torture of Yunus and in disposing of his body. However, the government sanctioned the prosecution of only four policemen, who were charged with murder and destruction of evidence. Waze is accused No. 1. He and his three co-accused were supposedly ‘escorting’ Yunus to Aurangabad. A petition seeking that the government sanction the prosecution of the other 10 policemen is pending in the Supreme Court.

Also Read: Sachin Waze gets court's nod to execute power of attorney in connection with publication business

Claims and reply

In his handwritten application filed on January 29, Waze had said that he was ‘suffering’ due to the pendency of the matter for the last 20 years. But Gharat has pointed out that Waze got bail in the case way back in June 2004. Also, Waze himself had caused delays in the case by challenging the orders passed by various courts. Currently, Gharat pointed out, Waze is in jail in another matter: the Antilia bomb scare case that took place in 2021.

Waze’s application stated that he only joined the Khwaja Yunus investigation on January 6, 2003. He claimed he had “no mechanism or authority to verify the identity of the already arrested terrorists.’’ He even claimed that “the terrorist Khwaja Yunus as appears in the photo in the case papers as well as in the newspapers was never handed over to me.” But, Gharat pointed out, the charge sheet against Waze has police witnesses stating that Waze had interrogated Yunus the whole day on January 6, 2003, starting from 12.30 pm.

Besides, both in his petition filed in 2005 before the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court, and in the judicial inquiry initially conducted into Yunus’s disappearance, Waze had said that he reported to the DCB, CID, Powai on the morning of January 5, 2003, and interrogated Yunus in the afternoon. Either his averment in his application, or these averments made before different forums have to be false, says Gharat’s reply.  These contradictions show that Waze “will not disclose the truth and will try to mislead the court,” read the reply.

Waze had also made personal remarks against Gharat in his application, accusing him of taking a stand that would “cause injustice’’ to him and everybody concerned and “cause further indefinite delay”. Objecting to these remarks, Gharat’s reply pointed out that in the past, too, Waze had made similar remarks against public prosecutors in this case.

Gharat’s reply includes objections filed by the police to Waze’s approver offer. In that, they trace the history of the case and point out that Waze’s original FIR filed against Yunus for allegedly having “escaped’’ was closed as per court orders as B Summary (maliciously false). They also recall that finding Waze uncooperative, the police had sought to conduct a narco-analysis test on him. But he managed to get a stay on it. This also creates a doubt that Waze would mislead the court, they state. Gharat has urged the court to reject Waze’s application.

Jan 29
Day plea was filed

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