The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought the Bombay High Court to recall its interim protection order from arrest to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)'s former Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought the Bombay High Court to recall its interim protection order from arrest to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)'s former Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede.
The CBI stated it has a prima facie case against Sameer Wankhede on charges of extortion and bribery in connection with the arrest of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan following the alleged seizure of drugs from a cruise ship.
Last month, the CBI filed an FIR against Wankhede and four others for allegedly demanding Rs 25 crore bribe in return for not framing Aryan in the drugs case.
Sameer Wankhede had moved the Bombay High Court seeking to quash the FIR and interim protection from any coercive action.
A vacation bench of the Bombay HC had granted interim relief to Sameer Wankhede in May and directed him to cooperate with the CBI investigation.
On June 2, the CBI filed its affidavit in response to Sammer Wankhede's petition.
The CBI sought that the interim protection order be recalled and the plea is dismissed.
"The CBI has a prima facie case and grant of any interim relief would adversely affect the ongoing investigation. Hence, it is respectfully prayed that the interim relief granted to the petitioner (Wankhede) from arrest may please be recalled," the agency said.
In its affidavit, CBI said it registered the FIR against Sameer Wankhede based on a written complaint issued to it by the NCB on May 11, 2023.
"The written complaint received by the CBI disclosed the commission of cognisable offences, hence a regular case was registered against Sameer Wankhede," the affidavit said.
"The allegations mentioned in the FIR are very serious and sensitive in nature pertaining to acts of corruption, criminal conspiracy and extortion by threat by the accused persons named in the FIR, who were the then public servants of NCB," it added.
The CBI said the investigation in the case was at an initial stage.
The CBI also stated that the probe was being conducted in an "unbiased and professional manner".
The agency said before the case was quashed, it was pertinent for the court to consider the "gravity and seriousness" of the offence alleged against Wankhede.
The CBI said, "FIRs can be quashed only in the rarest of rare cases where there is no cognisable offence made out against the accused."
The high court is likely to hear Sameer Wankhede's plea on Thursday.
Aryan Khan and several others were arrested in October 2021 for the alleged possession, consumption and trafficking of drugs. Later, Aryan Khan was granted bail by the high court after spending three weeks in jail.
The NCB subsequently filed its chargesheet but did not name Aryan as an accused in the case citing lack of evidence.
The anti-drugs agency had then set up a special inquiry team to carry out an inquiry into the case and against its own officers.
(with inputs from PTI)