Aryan case: Court denies relief to NCB's Wankhede

Aryan case: Court denies relief to NCB's Wankhede

The NCB and Wankhede had earlier in the day filed two separate affidavits before the special court

NCB Mumbai Zonal chief Sameer Wankhede. Credit: Special Arrangement

A Special NDPS Court on Monday denied relief to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer Sameer Wankhede, who had sought protection from any action after an independent witness made allegations of pay-off in the cruise ship drugs case.

The high-profile case involving Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan, and 19 other accused acquired a new twist after Prabhakar Sail in an affidavit claimed that bribes were paid for securing the release of Aryan and that he was made to sign on blank papers.

Amid the sensational claims, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray met state’s home minister Dilip Walse-Patil after allies — NCP and Congress — sought a special investigation team probe into the entire affair that has become murky and politicised.

Read more: Drugs on cruise case: NCB witness bribe allegations spark off political storm

With allegations swirling and Wankhede coming under a cloud, the NCB moved swiftly and ordered a vigilance probe into the allegations made by Sail. Mumbai-based NCB deputy director general Mutha Ashok Jain said the affidavit of Sail and other details had been forwarded to the federal agency’s Director General SN Pradhan. 

Wankhede has been summoned to New Delhi even as a three-member team is reaching Mumbai to look into the details. 

Read more: Cruise drugs case: Actor Ananya Panday fails to appear before NCB

“A report from DDG, South West Region, was received by our DG. He has marked an enquiry to the vigilance section. The chief vigilance officer will be dealing with the enquiry appropriately,” NCB deputy director general Gyaneshwar Singh said.

Meanwhile, witness KP Gosavi, who employed Sail as his bodyguard, said he would surrender in Lucknow soon. “I will surrender soon,” he told TV channels, referring to a case registered in Maharashtra. “I feel threatened there,” he added. On allegations of pay-offs, he said it was absurd.

After Sail’s allegations, Wankhede had shot off a letter to Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale and also moved the Special NDPS Court. The NCB, too, filed an affidavit backing Wankhede and denied the allegations.

Also read: Nawab Malik says Sameer Wankhede forged caste certificate, NCB official denies

However, the Special NDPS Court rejected the twin pleas, noting that the matter is sub-judice before the Bombay High Court and that the NCB was free to move the appropriate forum for remedies.

“Considering the relief claimed in the application, no such blanket orders can be passed. It is for the concerned court or authority to pass appropriate orders at the relevant stage. Moreover, matter is sub-judice before HC in bail applications in the same CR. Therefore no orders can be passed as prayed. Hence application is filed and disposed off, accordingly,” it noted. 

In the affidavit, Wankhede said that there is a “personal vendetta/vengeance” targeting him and his family members who are victims of derogatory attacks. “These are false, frivolous and vexatious allegations,” he said.

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