Critical Analysis of the Sachin Vaze-Mukesh Ambani Criminal Conspiracy Case

On February 25, 2021, there was a Scorpio SUV which was weighed down with explosives discovered right outside the Ambani Residence (Chairman of Reliance Industries) ”Antlia” on Carmichael Road in South Mumbai. The Mumbai Police’s Crime Intelligence Unit at first took up the case after the Sports Utility Vehicle (‘’SUV’’) for short) was found laden with explosives. At first the Mumbai police’s Crime Branch suspected an extremist group called ”Jaish-E-Hind” behind the botched SUV Explosive plot after they received a message from the same outfit on the application ”Telegram”. Nonetheless, the channel was not, at this point accessible in the day, said the law enforcement officers[1]. The same extremist outfit also claimed responsibility for another incident that occurred outside the Israeli Embassy in Delhi in the month of January.

It has also been learnt that the which was found Scorpio found outside Antilia, the Ambani home on Carmichael Road was laden with gelatine sticks[2]( Gelatine sticks are cheap explosive materials used by industries for the purpose of mining and construction related work, like building structures, roads, rails and tunnels and cannot be used without a detonator).

A couple of days after the discovery of the incident took place, the SUV was discovered to have been stolen from a businessman by the name of Mansukh Hiren after he had lodged a complaint of the same with the Vikhroli Police Station and confirmed that the connection between the explosive laden SUV found outside the Ambani residence was indeed his after he saw some visuals of the vehicle parked outside the Ambani Residence and met with the police commissioner in his office in South Mumbai. 

On February 17, the same vehicle was reported missing near the Mulund-Airoli link road by Mr. Hiren after making a journey to and from South Mumbai and returned to Vikhroli only to discover that his vehicle is missing in the interim time he was away and about a week later on February 25, the same vehicle was found in the vicinity of the Ambani residence laden with around 20-odd gelatine sticks.

After the discovery of the vehicle outside the Ambani residence, the investigating officers got wind that the owner of the Vehicle was Mr. Manuskh Hiren, while being picked up by the ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad) for questioning and was also subsequently requested to appear before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) the next day on February 27. The Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police then Police have registered the case under Indian Penal Code sections 286 (negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance), 465 (punishment for forgery), 473 (making or possessing counterfeit seal), 506(2) (criminal intimidation, if threat be to cause death or grievous hurt), 120(B) (criminal conspiracy).[3] r/w Sec 4(a)(b)(I) and the Indian Explosive Act, Sec 4(Punishment for attempt to cause explosion, or for making or keeping explosive with the intent to endanger life or property[4].

What is the National Investigation Agency?  

The National Investigation Agency, 2008 [5] was constituted under the NIA Act of 2008, as the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attacks in November, 2008. When we talk about its workforce, there are about 649 employees in the agency that comes under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs at the Central Government level. The National Investigation Agency, (NIA) acts as the Central Counter-Terrorism Law enforcement Agency in the country. The agency, in a special exemption to the Centre-Federal rule is authorised to investigate any terror-related matters across the country without special permission of the states.  

Vision of the NIA – 

‘’ To set the standards of excellence in counter-terrorism and investigate matters related to national security by developing a highly trained, partnership-oriented workforce[6]

The NIA’s headquarters is in Delhi but it has around 8 other regional offices across the country.

With the original NIA Act 2008 changed the ambit and scope of the NIA increased to investigate the matters related to –

  1. Human Trafficking
  2. Counterfeit Currency
  3. Manufacture or sale of prohibited arms
  4. Cyber-Terrorism
  5. Offenses under the Explosives Substances Act, 1908. 

The main functions of the NIA are;

  1. To study and analyse laws related to terrorism in other countries and regularly evaluate the efficacy of the existing laws related to terrorism and national security and propose changes when it seems necessary.
  2. To investigate terror-related cases or to make a strategy to combat terrorism.

Therefore, it is expected that the amendments in the NIA Act, 2008, would increase the efficiency of the NIA which is the need of the hour to protect the sovereignty, security, integrity of India. 

Some members of the opposition parties do fear that with the amendments in the NIA Act of 2008 and the UAPA Act of 1967 are concerned that the amendments to this bill could potentially be misused like the POTA Act of 2002.

On March 2nd, after a couple of meetings between the businessmen Mansukh Hiren, ‘’Encounter Specialist’’ Sachin Vaze, his aide Riyaz Qazi, the latter goes to the the former’s housing society in Saket and writes a letter requesting CCTV footage of the week from February 17-24 preceding the discovery of the SUV from the Ambani Residence under Sec 41 CrPC, 1973 [7].(Notice of appearance before a police officer)

Then Mr. Hiren files a complaint alleging that some cops and the members of the media are harassing him. After a few days on the 4th of March, Mr. Hiren goes missing, with his body being found in the Mumba Creek the next day on the 5th of March, further deepening the controversy so far uncovered as far as former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis raising questions surrounding Mr. Hiren’s death and accuses Mr. Sachin Vaze role in the case, as he claimed that Sachin Vaze knew Mansukh Hiren even before the incident outside Antlia happened. The Maharashtra ATS then took over all the three cases in the public spotlight- The Death of Businessmen Mansukh Hiren, the stolen Scorpio case and the Antlia Bomb Scare. The wife of the deceased, Mrs.Hiren alleged that it was Sachin Vaze who killed her late husband and dumped his body in the Mumba Creek in Thane.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) then takes over all the 3 cases that the Maharashtra ATS were investigating and after questioning Mr. Vaze for around 12 hours, he was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and later on the 14th of March, was sent to Police Custody.

An official said, “It seems like the whole controversy has been crafted by experts. Indeed, even the Scorpio driver utilized back exit of the vehicle instead of venturing out from the driver’s seat. He knew that CCTV cameras would catch his face.”

An FIR was enlisted at Gamdevi police headquarters regarding the danger letter and gelatine sticks found external the Ambani home. The examination of the contents found in the SUV has been given over to the Mumbai Crime Branch’s forensic team.

The Sachin Vaze Angle

Sachin Hindurao Vaze was captured late on Saturday (March 13) by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is exploring the February 25 bomb alarm outside Antilia, the south Mumbai home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani. Vaze has been remanded in NIA custody till March 25.

Who is Sachin Vaze?

Vaze is an Assistant Police Inspector of the Mumbai Police Force. He was one of the initial members of Mumbai’s so-called “encounter specialists” alongside Pradeep Sharma and Daya Naik.

Is there a connection between Sachin Vaze and Shiv Sena?

Vaze used to be a Shiv Sainik in the time frame that he quit the power after a long suspension. Abnormally, for a cop who was under a haze for a custodial passing — the body of evidence against him is as yet being heard — he was restored in June 2020.

His restoration was clarified as a Covid-19 measure to hold over staff lack. However, Vaze was no staff filler.

Promptly after being reclaimed into the power, Vaze was moved to the Mumbai Crime Branch and made responsible for the CIU. Before long, he started testing cases, for example, the phony online media devotees’ case in which rapper Badshah was called. Regardless of his moderately junior situation in the chain of command, he was before long taking care of each significant case in Mumbai, from the Television Ratings Point (TRP) trick, to driving the group that captured Arnab Goswami in the Anvay Naik self-destruction case to the Dilip Chhabria case to the Hrithik Roshan counterfeit email case.[8]

The police form was that Younus got away from care while they were taking him to Aurangabad on January 6-7 of that year. On a High Court request, the state CID researched his vanishing and discovered it to be an instance of custodial passing. The preliminary of the four cops is forthcoming as the appointed authority was moved in 2018.

Vaze’s re-enlistment into the power a year ago — and that of the other 3 suspects in the Yunus murder — stunned the architect’s family. They have moved the High Court again.

The Anil Deshmukh-Param Bir- Sachin Vaze Nexus[9] – 

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who was as of late moved from the top post as Mumbai’s Police Commissioner, has alleged that Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had asked controversial Mumbai Police official Sachin Vaze to gather Rs 100 crore for him consistently every month in what he claimed was in what he described was a euphemism for corruption.

The Ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has made these claims in a letter addressed to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

In his letter, Param Bir Singh alleges that Anil Deshmukh called Sachin Vaze to his home “a few times” in the course of recent months and “more than once trained” him to “aid assortment of assets” for the former Maharashtra Cabinet Minister, further deepening the conspiracy which was ignited on Thursday February 25 outside the Ambani Residence.

“Sachin Vaze, who was going the Crime Intelligence Unit of the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police, was called by Shri Anil Deshmukh, Hon’ble Home Minister, Maharashtra to his authority home Dnyaneshwar a few times in most recent couple of months and more than once taught to aid assortment of assets for the Hon’ble Home Minister,” Param Bir Singh claims in his letter to the CM.

In and around mid-February and from that point, the Hon’ble Home Minister had called Shri Vaze to his authority home. Around then, a couple of staff individuals from the Hon’ble Home Minister, including his Personal Secretary, Mr Palande, were also present. The Hon’ble Home Minister communicated to Shri Vaze that he had an objective to aggregate Rs 100 crores per month in the form of bribes.

Param Bir Singh has additionally affirmed that for accomplishing this objective of Rs 100 crore each month, Anil Deshmukh revealed to Sachin Vaze “there are around 1,750 bars, eateries and different foundations in Mumbai and if an amount of Rs 2-3 lakh each was gathered from every one of them, a month-to-month assortment of Rs 40-50 crores was attainable.”

“The Hon’ble Home Minister [Anil Deshmukh] added that the remainder of the assortment could be produced using different sources,” the letter charges.

Reacting to the grave charges levelled against him by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh has named them to be “bogus” and an endeavour by the top cop to save himself of the embarrassment of losing his post as Mumbai’s top cop due to the outcry of the scandal.

In another tweet, Anil Deshmukh said, inclusion of Sachin Vaze in the Antilia bomb alarm case and the Mansukh Hiren murder case is “getting clear”.

“It’s strings are probably going to arrive at the then Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. The examination is in progress,” Anil Deshmukh composed.

Latest from the Sachin Vaze-Mukesh Ambani Bomb Scare-

A special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday remanded suspended Mumbai Police official Riyaz Uddin Qazi, an aide of suspended cop Sachin Vaze, in judicial custody[10] till April 23 regarding the botched conspiracy of an explosives-loaded SUV found close to industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s home and the mysterious death of Thane-based businessman Mansukh Hiren and the corruption allegation against former Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Anil Deshmukh.

Kazi was delivered under the steady gaze of the court as the time of his NIA authority finished on Friday.

Backer Hasnain Kazi, who addressed Kazi, moved an application charging danger to the existence of his customer in prison and asked that his security might be fittingly reinforced by the prison specialists. The court guided the prison specialists to take legitimate consideration of his se

Kazi was hence moved to Taloja jail.

As indicated by the NIA, Kazi was filling in as an associate police overseer in the wrongdoing insight unit (CIU) and knew about Vaze’s supposed designs to make a security alarm nearby Ambani’s home. The organization has asserted that Kazi knew about the plan and the things that happened later.

He has composed two books, one on the Sheena Bora murder case and the other on David Headley, the LeT employable associated with the 26/11 fear assault who later turned approver. Away from the power, his administrations seem to have been utilized by some insightful organizations. He was likewise roped in by news channels as an ‘’Expert’’. 

Conclusion –

The Big Question – Is it time to loosen political control over police?

This whole scandal has thrown up a lot of questions.

The most prominent debate over this controversy raises a very important question.

Scandals such as the current one has put the spotlight on the independence of the Police Force. Therefore, the question begs, is it time to loosen the political control exerted by our rulers over the police or would it impact its inspection? [11]

One side of the debate says ‘’ Entrusting the operational independence to the Police leaders does not imply carte blanche to do as they would wish. A police force has to be accountable but to the law and the law alone. However, the other side of the debate argues that the police force has been conferred with extraordinary coercive powers. It is essential the exercise of this power is subject to the most effective public scrutiny. There has to be some amount of reasonable political control. Much therefore depends on the correct theories at the top of the ladder. The choice should take into account competence and most importantly, integrity. If the integrity test is not passed, then we should drop the candidate concerned because ability without integrity can be detrimental to public service. The Supreme Court in a landmark case of Prakash Singh vs Union of India[12] in 2006 attempted to reform the police force in the country under seven heads which are –

  1. Streamlining various Police Acts (as many of them are inherited from the colonial era)  
  2. Strict demarcation of authority between the political head (i.e., the home minister), the DG Police and the Unit Heads.
  3. Strengthening the Police Establishment Board, ensuring fixed tenure to Unit Heads.
  4. Clear demarcation between Central Agencies like the CBI, NIA, multiple agencies dealing with economic offences like the ACB, ED (Enforcement Directorate), Income Tax, Revenue Intelligence etc.
  5. The 1861 Police Act mandates a Single Police Force for the nation. There is a need to develop consensus over the separation of functions in a liberal democracy like India like Community Police, Law and Order, Crime Detection, prosecution, highway and traffic police, security etc as is practised in many countries.

Police Reforms are necessary for maintenance of public order while preserving the constitutionality mandated superintendence of People/Citizen. In the name of politicisation of the Police, any attempt to reduce public supervision would be like rejecting the favourable along with the unfavourable.

Author: Pranav Gurudutt

[1]  Mohamed Thaver ‘’ Explosives outside Mukesh Ambani residence: Probe hits wall thanks to poor CCTV network’’ The Indian Express March 1, 2021

[2]  Vidya ‘’Mukesh Ambani bomb scare: NIA begins probe in gelatine sticks recovery case’ ’India Today, March 10, 2021

[3] Press Trust of India SUV with explosives found near Ambani’s house turns out to be stolen’’The Indian Express, February 26, 2021.

[4] The Explosives Substances Act, 1908 (Act No.6 of 1908)

[5] The National Investigation Agency Act, 2008, India, available at,The%20National%20Investigation%20Agency%20(NIA)%20acts%20as%20the%20Central%20Counter,special%20permission%20of%20the%20states

[6] National Investigation Agency – Vision and Functions, available at

[7]  Saurabh Vaktania , ‘’ NIA probes why Sachin Vaze’s Mumbai Police unit picked up CCTV from arrested cop’s housing society’’ India Today, March 16, 2021

[8] Mohamed Thaver, ‘’Explained: Who is Sachin Vaze? ‘’, The Indian Express, March 14th, 2021

[9] Sahil Joshi ‘’ Anil Deshmukh asked Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 Cr for him per month: Ex-Mumbai Police Chief Param Bir Singh’’ The Indian Express, March 20th, 2021 

[10]  Vidya, Ambani bomb scare: Suspended cop Riyaz Qazi sent to judicial custody; Vaze allowed weekly calls with lawyer’’ India Today, April 17, 2021

[11] Editorial, ‘’Times Face-off: Is it time to loosen political control over police’’ Times of India, April 20, 2021

[12] Prakash Singh vs Union of India [(2006) 8 SCC 1]

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