More than five years after he registered an extortion case that eventually went dead, actor Munish Khan received a fresh ray of hope after the Bombay High Court transferred the matter to the Pune Crime Branch for investigation.
Santacruz Police took nearly three years to file a chargesheet in Munish Khan’s extortion case and also dropped two charges
Munish had alleged that two men, advocate Sayed Wajid Hussain and his accomplice Vilas Poddar, had attempted to extort Rs 8 crore from him. The duo had claimed they knew senior police officers from Thane district and Versova police, and would allegedly implicate him in a false case if he refused to pay up.
Munish Khan is the son of self-proclaimed scientist Munir Khan, who himself was arrested for cheating and selling a miracle drug which, he claimed, could cure cancer. According to Munish, Hussain and Poddar, in 2009, approached him and demanded R8 crore in the name of senior police officers from Thane district and Versova police.
This threat was allegedly made after some patients complained of being cheated by Munir’s drug and its tall claims. Fed up with the repeated threats, Munish went to Versova police station on April 10, 2009 and registered a case (FIR no. 116/2009) under Sections 384 (extortion), 385 (putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion), 389 (putting person in fear of accusation of offence, in order to commit extortion) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
Both the accused applied for anticipatory bail, and were later arrested after the bail period expired. In return, Poddar filed a fresh cheating case against Munir Khan (FIR no. 132/09) for selling medicine with fraudulent claims.
In June the same year, the actor, his father and his brother submitted a criminal writ petition in the Sessions court putting all these facts up for observation and sought direction for the entire issue, asking that the matter be investigated by an independent investigative agency such as the CBI or CID.
The court transferred the case to the Santacruz Police in November 2009. The Santacruz Police took nearly three years to file the chargesheet and even dropped some charges. The chargesheet was finally filed on August 23, 2012.
A chargesheet is supposed to be done within 90 days of filing the case, and if there is a delay, the investigating police have to provide valid reasons to the court for doing so. The Khans then knocked on the doors of the High Court.
“The investigation was not up to mark, and they (Santacruz Police) dropped serious Sections, 389 and 120B. Even the chargesheet was deliberately delayed. Hence, we approached the honourable High Court for further investigation by an independent agency. This contention was not controverted and the High Court transferred the matter to the Pune Crime Branch for further investigation,” said Munish, who has acted in one film.
Sayed Wajid Hussain had bought medicine from the doctor’s clinic, but had allegedly found it ineffective. He then told Munish Khan that he would file a police complaint against the doctor, if he didn’t pay up R8 crore. Hussain and Poddar called Munish to Thane to discuss the matter.
On March 23 and March 24, 2009, Munish recorded his conversations with Hussain and Poddar, who claimed they were on good terms with the then senior police inspector at Versova police station. Hussain allegedly said he would implicate the actor’s father in a false case with Poddar’s help.
In this conversation, he also name-dropped several high-ranking police officers from Thane district and said they would also be beneficiaries of the extortion amount, and, therefore, tried pressuring Munish into paying up.
Self-proclaimed scientist Munir Khan claimed to have invented a drug, Body Revival, which could cure cancer and heart blockages. The ‘medicine’ was sold at Rs 15,000 per bottle. Khan first came on cops’ radar after the Food and Drug Administration raided his Andheri clinic in September 2009 and shut it for selling fraudulent drugs. He absconded from the scene, only to surrender in May 2010.