MUMBAI: A Thane court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) to stop its investigation into the death of businessman Mansukh Hiran and hand over case records to the NIA immediately.
Hiran was found dead in a creek in Thane on March 5, days after he claimed that the Scorpio with explosives found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house in south Mumbai had been stolen from his possession.
The Union home ministry handed over the probe into the Hiran case to the National Investigation Agency on March 20.
But the ATS continued its probe and claimed to have cracked the case two days ago.
The NIA then approached the Thane chief judicial magistrate seeking a direction to the ATS to hand over the case, the central agency's lawyer said.
The magistrate, after hearing submissions from both the agencies, directed that the ATS' investigating officer shall not proceed with the probe, and shall hand over all relevant documents and records to the NIA without any delay.
The NIA is already probing the case related to the recovery of the explosives-laden SUV and has arrested suspended assistant police inspector Sachin Waze of Mumbai police in that case.
Hiran's wife had alleged that Waze was using the same SUV for some time, and he played a role in her husband's death.
The ATS earlier this week had claimed that Waze was the prime accused in Hiran murder case, and it would seek his custody after the NIA remand expired on Thursday.
The ATS has arrested suspended policeman Vinayak Shinde and cricket bookie Naresh Gaur in the case.
NIA on Wednesday also took into custody the two accused arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in connection with the Mansukh Hiran murder case, an official said.
The NIA took the custody of the duo- suspended policeman Vinayak Shinde and cricket bookie Naresh Gaur- in the evening, he said.
"A team of seven to eight NIA officials reached the ATS office here and took the accused duo into the custody," the official said.
The ATS had arrested Shinde and Gaur last week.
Meanwhile, DCP Parag Manere of the Mumbai police's Economic Offence Wing (EOW) reached the NIA office in the evening, an official said.
However, the reason behind his visit to the central agency's south Mumbai office is yet to be known.
An explosives-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's house in south Mumbai on February 25 had been allegedly stolen from the possession of Hiran, the Thane-based businessman, whose body was found in a creek in Mumbra on March 5.
The NIA is probing the case of recovery of the explosives-laden SUV and arrested Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze.
The central agency also took over the probe into the Hiran murder case from the ATS last week.
The ATS had said that Waze was also a prime accused in the Hiran murder case.
It had registered a murder case under section 302 (punishment for murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender) 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against unknown persons, days after Hiran's body was found.