Cruise drugs case: Court refuses to pass blanket order over Wankhede plea on witness ‘extortion’ affidavit

NCB and Wankhede had filed separate affidavits in court against the one submitted by an independent witness alleging bribery

Cruise drugs case: Court refuses to pass blanket order over Wankhede plea on witness ‘extortion’ affidavit

Sameer Wankhede. PTI file photo

Mumbai, October 25

A special court here on Monday said it cannot pass a blanket order barring courts from taking cognizance of an affidavit of an independent witness in the drugs-on-cruise episode, in which he has levelled allegations of an extortion attempt by NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede and others on actor Shah Rukh Khan, whose son Aryan is an accused in the case.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and Wankhede had earlier in the day filed two separate affidavits before the special court against the allegations of extortion attempt levelled against them.

In the affidavits, the anti-drugs agency and Wankhede sought the court to pass an order saying no court should take cognizance of the affidavit prepared by the independent witness, Prabhakar Sail.

As per the NCB and its zonal director, the allegations made by Sail were only an attempt to create hurdles and scuttle the investigation into the case.

The central agency had also sought the court to pass appropriate orders to ensure there is no tampering with the evidence or investigation in the case.

Cruise drugs case: After making Rs 25 crore bribery claim, NCB witness meets senior Mumbai cop for protection

Prabhakar Sail, the independent witness in the cruise drugs case, claimed that an NCB official and some other investigators, including absconding witness KP Gosavi, demanded Rs 25 crore for letting off Aryan Khan in the case.

NCB orders vigilance inquiry into cruise drugs ‘extortion’ allegations

Sail had said that he overheard Gosavi telling one Sam D'Souza over the phone, after Aryan Khan was brought to the NCB office following the October 3 raid, about a demand of Rs 25 crore and "to settle at Rs 18 crore as they have to give Rs eight crore to Sameer Wankhede", the zonal director of NCB.

 He also claimed NCB officials had asked him to sign nine to ten blank papers.

Wankhede on Sunday wrote to Mumbai police commissioner Hemant Nagrale, seeking protection from likely legal action "being planned" against him by unknown persons to falsely frame him concerning an alleged vigilance-related issue.

Without taking names, Wankhede, an IRS officer of the 2008 batch, had claimed in his letter to Nagrale that the threat of jail and dismissal have been issued against him on public media by highly respectable public functionaries.

Wankhede’s NCB allegedly seized drugs onboard a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast following which Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3.

 He is currently lodged in the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai. His bail application is likely to be heard by the Bombay High Court on Tuesday. — PTI

 

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