The release and discharge request of former Mumbai Police officer ACP Sunil Mane in the Antilia bomb fear case was denied by a special NIA court on Friday.
The court rejected Sunil Mane’s request for discharge and default bail, noting that it was premature to draw any conclusions regarding his claim that he was unaware of the other accused’s decision to park a car filled with gelatin sticks outside Mukesh Ambani’s Antilia home on February 25, 2021.
‘At this point, the act of Mane cannot be separated. It cannot be inferred that Mane had no knowledge in the absence of compelling evidence’ said AM Patil, a special NIA judge. The trial in this case has not yet started.
The Antilia bomb scare and the death case involving businessman Mansukh Hiran are allegedly Mane’s fault, along with eight other people including fired Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze. When he was taken into custody on March 24, 2021, Mane was serving as the Assistant Commissioner of Police and was in command of the Kandivali unit of the Mumbai crime branch. Since then, he has been detained at the central prison in Taloja.
However, Judge Patil read over numerous declarations made by the prosecution in the case and declared, ‘It is obvious that Mane appears to be involved in this case at least on the surface. Additionally, it is clear that the prosecution has evidence demonstrating a plot between the defendants, which resulted in Mansukh’s murder by Waze and the other defendants, including Mane.’
The Judge continued, ‘The prosecution also has incriminating evidence, such as call detail records from the accused’s mobile phone, in addition to the statements of witnesses. Protected witnesses’ statements further demonstrate Mane’s and Waze’s presence.’
The chargesheet also showed that Mansukh was slain by the accused as a result of the offence from February 25, 2021, the special court judge continued. The prosecution’s main argument is that Mansukh’s murder, which followed the parking of his explosive-laden Scorpio vehicle, was a carefully thought out crime involving a high-end criminal conspiracy that was carried out by the accused with the intention of causing terror.