Court condemns prosecution for “lackadaisique” approach
New Delhi: A Sessions Court in Mumbai said on Tuesday that the case against Mumbai policeman Sachin Waze and three others sacked for the in-custody death of Khwaja Yunus, a software engineer who was charged in the blast case Ghatkopar in 2002, was delayed due to the charge. dragging its feet.
According to LiveLaw, the court strongly objected to the prosecution dragging its feet in the trial. Extra Sessions Judge UJ More said the trial had not moved forward for more than 12 years “through no fault of the victim.” The judge observed that one of the main reasons for the lack of progress in the trial is the Maharashtra government’s delay in appointing a new prosecutor. The government had “bluntly” dismissed the previous special prosecutor, LiveLaw reported.
The website reported that the court said that despite repeated reminders to the state’s Crime Investigation Department (CID), the police had not taken any concrete steps for a proper prosecution.
According to Indian express, the court said:
âThe file reveals that despite repeated notices and letters to the police and the prosecution, there is no concrete progress. There is a failure of the police to take the appropriate steps for a speedy trial, which has been blocked for over 12 years through no fault of the victim. There is a nonchalant approach on the part of the prosecution in a serious case of death in custody. “
The case concerns the death of Khwaja Yunus, a 27-year-old software engineer. He was arrested in December 2002 in connection with the Ghatkopar bombing, which killed two people. However, ten days after Yunus’ arrest, police claimed he had “disappeared” while being escorted to Aurangabad by a team led by Sachin Waze. An CID investigation revealed that Yunus had been tortured to death by the police.
Mumbai police arrested four men in the case, charging them under the Terrorist Activity Prevention Act (POTA), which has since come to light. While Yunus is believed to have died as a result of torture inflicted by the police, the other three arrested men were acquitted of all charges by a special court.
According to LiveLawDr. Abdul Mateen, a man who was arrested along with Yunus, said that four policemen tortured the Yunus until “he vomited blood and collapsed.”
The four men named are not being tried. Special prosecutor Dhiraj Mirajkar, who had sought to bring the four accused men to justice after Mateen’s testimony, was “unceremoniously removed” in April 2018 before his request could be considered. A replacement has not yet been announced by the state government.
Chief prosecutor Jaising Desai submitted to the court on Tuesday that the proposed appointment of a special prosecutor is pending before the legal and judicial department of the government of Maharashtra, according to LiveLaw.
Yunus’ mother, Asiya Begam, had challenged the state government’s decision not to grant a sanction to prosecute the other seven police officers who allegedly assaulted her son and the removal of Mirajkar as special prosecutor. While the first is pending before the Supreme Court, the second is pending before the High Court of Bombay.
According to LiveLaw, before the adjournment of the case on Tuesday, the court said: “Considering the assurance given by the State CID / Chief PP, the case is adjourned until the next date subject to the order once moreover to continue the trial which began more than 12 years ago and to file the status of the appointment of the SPP if the prosecution so wishes.
Sachin Waze’s controversial record
Waze is one of Mumbai’s most controversial police officers. He is believed to be involved in at least 60 extrajudicial killings. While suspended after being named accused in the Khwaja Yunus case, Waze was reinstated by the government of Maha Vikas Aghadi in June 2020 as deputy police inspector in the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) .
In March 2021, he was arrested again in the sensational Antilia bomb threat case. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) claimed in its indictment that Waze planted the bomb near the home of business tycoon Mukesh Ambani because he wanted to “regain his weight” and win once also as a “super cop” or “dating specialist”.