MUMBAI: Manish Soni, arrested in connection with the recovery of an explosives-laden SUV near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence and the subsequent murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran, has moved a bail plea before a special NIA court here while saying his judicial custody is "illegal", his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Soni was arrested on June 17 along with Satish Mothkuri and former "encounter specialist" Pradeep Sharma in connection with the case.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the special court on Monday that Soni was "inadvertently" remanded in judicial custody by a magistrate court, where he had gone for recording a confessional statement.
Soni's lawyer Rahul Arote said the remand was "illegal" as the accused was sent in jail custody without being produced before the special court. "The application has been filed on the ground that he is illegally remanded by (magistrate) court. Therefore, prayed for bail," Arote said.
The NIA had earlier told the court that Soni and Mothkuri allegedly killed Hiran and dumped the body with the help of other accused. The murder was part of a larger conspiracy and committed at the behest of former policemen Sachin Waze and Pradeep Sharma, it had said.
Besides Waze and Sharma, policemen Riyazuddin Kazi and Sunil Mane had also been arrested in connection with the bomb scare case and later dismissed from police service. The NIA had also arrested former police constable Vinayak Shinde and cricket bookie Naresh Gor in the case.
All of them are currently in judicial custody. The explosives-laden SUV was found abandoned near Ambani's residence 'Antilia' in south Mumbai on February 25 this year. Businessman Mansukh Hiran, who had claimed that he was in possession of the vehicle, was found dead at a Mumbra creek in Thane district on March 5.