India's Narcotics Control Bureau backs top officer Sameer Wankhede in court amid controversy

MumbaiUpdated: Oct 25, 2021, 08:30 PM IST

File photo of Sameer Wankhede, NCB zonal director Photograph:(ANI)

Story highlights

Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in an affidavit submitted before a special court here on Monday said Sameer Wankhede and other officers have an impeccable service record

Amid allegations of an extortion attempt by NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede and others in connection with the cruise drugs case in which actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan is arrested, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in an affidavit submitted before a special court here on Monday said Wankhede and other officers have an impeccable service record.

Earlier in the day, the federal anti-drug agency and Wankhede filed affidavits before the special court, designated to hear cases related to the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, against the allegations of extortion attempts 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.

"It is emphatically stated that the NCB, as an organisation and/or its officers, the zonal director, who has an impeccable service record, replete with honesty and integrity, has no interest whatsoever as falsely alleged in the purported affidavit (of the witness)," the anti-drug agency said.

"The NCB headed by its zonal director and its team was working tirelessly with the sole objective to eradicate the drug menace in the city of Mumbai and act in compliance with the aims and object of this stringent enactment (NDPS Act), to make the city drug free," it added.

The agency further said that at such a stage, the witness's claims was an attempt to tamper with and obstruct an ongoing investigation and hence stringent action ought to be taken against the witness.

It added that the affidavit/application was filed by the agency in the interest of justice and to avoid an independent and reputed agency from being defamed and tarnished by unscrupulous elements who intend to further their own vested interests.

Special Judge V V Patil disposed of the applications and refused to pass any blanket order.

On Sunday, Prabhakar Sail, an independent witness in the case, in a statement to the media, claimed that Rs 25 crore was demanded by an official of the NCB and other persons, including absconding witness K P Gosavi, to let off Aryan Khan in the drugs case.

Sail told media persons that he had overheard Gosavi telling one Sam D'Souza over the phone 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".

Sail had said he would soon release evidence to support his claim.

Aryan Khan and 19 others have been arrested so far in the case. Aryan is presently lodged at the Arthur Road prison.