Charges filed in connection with the Mukesh Ambani security scare case will include those under anti-terror law UAPA, National Investigation Agency (NIA) sources said Wednesday afternoon, explaining that the presence and quantity of explosives recovered indicate terrorist action.
So far, only charges relating to criminal conspiracy had been raised against the accused, including former Mumbai cop Sachin Waze, who is currently in NIA custody.
Earlier on Wednesday a Thane court ordered the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) to hand over all documents in the Mansukh Hiran death case to the NIA. The agency was represented by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appeared for NIA in Thane court.
The case – involving the death of a man said to be the owner of the explosives-filled SUV found near the home of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani earlier this month – had been transferred by the Home Ministry to the central agency last week.
On Tuesday the NIA informed a special court that the Maharashtra ATS was delaying handing over the necessary files, papers and case diaries, three days after having been instructed to do so.
NIA sources said they had also flagged the matter with the office of the Maharashtra police chief but received no support. Sources said they were left with no option but to inform the court.
Initial inquiries into the Mukesh Ambani security scare revealed the abandoned explosives-filled SUV – a Mahindra Scorpio – belonged to Mr Hiran, who reported it stolen February 17. An auto parts dealer, Mr Hiran, 45, was found dead along the Mumbra-Reti Bunder road in Thane on March 5.
Days before his death he had written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Param Bir Singh, who was then the Mumbai Police Commissioner, to flag the theft of his car and to allege harassment by journalists and the police.
The Maharashtra ATS took over the case on March 7, shortly after it was assigned the probe into the security scare outside Mukesh Ambani’s Mumbai residence.
On Saturday the Union Home Ministry turned the case over to the NIA.
The state agency has so far arrested two and recorded the statements of at least 25 people.
The agency also, on Tuesday, seized a Volvo car reportedly linked to Sachin Waze, the arrested Mumbai cop linked to Mr Hiran and the Ambani security scare case. Waze, who was in charge of the Hiran case, is in NIA custody over links to Mr Hiran and the Ambani security scare.
Waze – a controversial officer who quit the force to join the ruling Shiv Sena, has been reinstated after the Covid outbreak. The opposition BJP has accused him of destroying evidence.
The Mahindra Scorpio that Mr Hiran says was stolen from him was found less than two kilometres from Antilla, Mukesh Ambani’s 27-storey home in south Mumbai, on March 4.
A bomb disposal squad found 20 gelatin sticks – not military grade but the commercial kind used in construction – and a letter addressed to the Reliance chairman and his wife, Nita Ambani.