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Sameer Wankhede’s atrocities case against NCB officer quashed

Updated on: 10 February,2024 07:27 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Faizan Khan |

Commission cites Delhi Police report, says ‘no merit’ in case

Sameer Wankhede’s atrocities case against NCB officer quashed

Sameer Wankhede. File pic

Key Highlights

  1. In major setback to Sameer Wankhede, NCSC has decided to close an atrocities case
  2. After probing the serious allegations, the NCSC found “no merit” in the case
  3. Even the witnesses of Wankhede did not support the allegations

In a major setback to IRS officer Sameer Wankhede, the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has decided to close an atrocities case he had filed against former colleague at Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), IPS Gyaneshwar Singh, who headed a vigilance probe that found irregularities and corruption in the drugs-on-cruise case.

After probing the serious allegations made by Wankhede against Singh, the NCSC found “no merit” in the case. Even the witnesses of Wankhede did not support the allegations. “Based on the Special Investigating Team (SIT) report regarding non-intimation/misreporting to the department which is a violation of Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964 (CCS Rules), action lies on the part of his department,” reads the content of the crucial letter signed by NCSC Chairman (in-charge) Arun Haldar, sent on February 5.

“The investigating officer (IO) in the case also appeared in person before the commission and informed that the enquiry was done by the Delhi Police and no merit has come of the allegations by the petitioner. The IO further informed that he has examined the two witnesses cited by the petitioner and they have not supported the petitioner’s version of the story,” the letter states.

Further, the letter states that the IO pointed out that Wankhede himself had taken the name of Bharat Ratna Dr B R Ambedkar while he was being questioned during the departmental enquiry. “Thus, it is clear that there has been no such incident as that cited by the petitioner (Wankhede).” mid-day is in possession of a copy of the letter.

Regarding atrocities under SC/ST Act, the letter says the Delhi Police report has conclusively established that “the allegations levelled could not be substantiated; hence no cognisable offence is made out from the contents of the complaint and the present complaint has been closed”.

While closing the case, Haldar said, “This Commission has fairly acted upon and has given full opportunity of hearing to both the sides. Moreover, the commission does not allow anybody to mislead and misuse the advantage of the NCSC rules of procedures and the Prevention of Atrocity Act, 1989, and on the other hand, it had also complied with the order dated November 3, 2023, of the Delhi High Court.”

In his complaint before the NCSC, Wankhede—the former Mumbai Zonal Director at the NCB—had accused Singh of harassment and committing atrocities on him during an inquiry conducted by the SIT, which was formed to conduct a probe into the Cordelia cruise case. It was alleged that questions were posed to him on how he could afford expensive clothes. As per the Delhi Police report, all the proceedings were recorded and the questions were asked to ascertain the violation of CCS Rules by Wankhede who had purchased a gold Rolex watch worth Rs 22 lakh and misreported his private foreign visits. He had also stayed with family for 5 days at the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives, spending more than R7 lakh but declared only Rs 1.25 lakh to the government.

The commission order also asserted that minutes of the last hearing on November 21, 2023, hadn’t been officially issued, implying that information had been leaked to the media. Wankhede could face backlash over this. Wankhede and Singh clashed after formation of the SIT. Insiders said the development made Wankhede uncomfortable so he didn’t respond to questions. He then made serious allegations against Singh, allegedly trying to derail the probe. The SIT found multiple irregularities in the Cordelia cruise case in which actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan was arrested in 2021. A CBI probe is underway.
Wankhede was not available for comment.

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