Sachin Waze - the police officer suspended since 2003 over the alleged custodial death of a bomb blast accused - was appointed to the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) in June last year by ex-top cop Param Bir Singh, despite objections from the then Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), according to a Mumbai Police report submitted to the Maharashtra Home Department.
Waze - in NIA custody after being arrested in connection with the Mukesh Ambani bomb scare case - reported directly and solely to Mr Singh, who himself has been replaced as Police Commissioner over "unforgivable" lapses in investigating that case, the Mumbai Police report said.
This included attending ministerial-level briefings with Mr Singh in high-profile cases like the TRP scam case and the DC (Dilip Chhabria) car finance case, despite holding the relatively junior rank of Assistant Police Inspector; the rules say the CIU must led by a Police Inspector or higher rank.
Officially Waze - who has also been linked to the death of auto parts dealer Mansukh Hiran - whose SUV was recovered from the scene of the bomb scare - and 56 others were reinstated because of a lack of manpower to deal with the Covid pandemic.
On June 8, days after the then Joint CP (Crime) tried to oppose his reinstatement - but was left "helpless" - Waze was posted to the Crime Branch. 24 hours later he was moved to the CIU and, according to the report, senior officers there were moved out on oral orders by Param Bir Singh.
Weeks before these orders, the report said, Mr Singh passed another order - that senior appointments could only be finalised and approved by him.
In the nine-odd months that Waze was at the CIU he was handed 17 major cases.
Details of those cases were sought by the NIA (National Investigation Agency), which is investigating the arrested cop and the Ambani bomb scare case.
Waze, the Mumbai Police report said, would refer all action on these cases directly to Param Bir Singh. This would include whom to arrest, locations to raid and summoning of witnesses.
He had also ordered CIU officers to not report to their respective in-charges.
As part of his appointment, Waze was also allotted three Mumbai Police cars. However, the report said he would arrive in private luxury vehicles - an Audi or a Mercedes Benz, for example. Several such vehicles have been seized by the NIA as it investigates the Ambani case.
Param Bir Singh's statement was recorded by the NIA on Wednesday. The former top cop was questioned on the timeline of Waze's postings and assigned cases.
Waze was also named in a letter by Mr Singh to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray - written after he was transferred to the Home Guards - alleging that former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had attempted to run a Rs 100 crore extortion racket with top Mumbai cops.
The Bombay High Court has ordered a preliminary inquiry by the CBI - which began last night - into these charges by Mr Singh, who has, in turn, been accused by Mr Deshmukh and his party, the NCP (Nationalist Congress Party), of making these claims to divert attention from himself.
With input from PTI