Mansukh Hiran had sold the Scorpio car, which was parked with explosives outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence on February 25, to dismissed Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze. It was with him from November till February, the chargesheet filed by the National Investigation agency (NIA) in the case revealed. Vaze, who had later investigated the case as the head of the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU), had told Hiran, to whom the vehicle was traced, not to reveal this aspect during the probe.
The car had been left with Hiran by its owner Dr Peter Newton, as he owed him money. Hiran’s 20-year-old son Meet told the NIA, in his statement that forms part of the chargesheet, that his father had sold the car to a police officer in November, 2020. He did not know who the officer was, until Vaze visited their automobile parts shop in Thane in a black Mercedes. His father told him his name and that he was the police officer the Scorpio was sold to. The SUV was, however, returned by Vaze to Hiran in early February, as he had complained of an issue with its steering. Thereafter, Meet said that the car remained parked in their shop.
Hiran’s elder brother Vinod said that, following the bomb scare episode, the former had told him that he had sold the Scorpio to a police officer in November, 2020, to transport his men. However, the officer had returned it as it was not comfortable. “He also told me that it is good that the said case was being enquired by Vaze to whom we sold the Scorpio vehicle. My brother further told me that, during the inquiry, Vaze told him not to disclose his name and that he had sold the vehicle to Vaze,” his statement reads. Vinod added that he had asked Hiran why he had lied that the vehicle was not used by Vaze, to which he said that he was instructed by Vaze not to disclose his name.
Vaze had also advised Hiran to write a complaint to the chief minister, home minister, CP Mumbai and CP Thane about harassment faced by different agencies while probing the case, the elder brother’s statement says. Hiran had confided about this to his elder brother over a phone call on March 4. He had gone missing and his body found in a creek the following day. “As revealed by my brother, Vaze had himself taken him to a lawyer named Giri to draft the complaint,” it read.
A policeman, posted as personal security officer of Pradeep Sharma since 2019, said in his statement that Sharma and Vaze met on February 28. On March 2, he said that Sharma went to meet the then CP Param Bir Singh at his office. After about 15 to 20 minutes, he went to the CIU to meet Vaze. On March 3, he mentioned another meeting between Sharma and Vaze, for which Vaze visited Sharma’s NGO PS Foundation’s office. Vaze had brought a brown coloured bag in his vehicle, which was transferred to Sharma’s vehicle.