Mumbai: Former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede on Friday moved a petition before the Bombay High Court seeking the quashing of an FIR filed against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the alleged Rs 25 crore extortion case regarding the arrest of Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in 2021 in the Cordelia cruise drug bust case. An urgent hearing at 2.30 pm today has been allowed.
'CBI action out of revenge'
In the petition moved before a vacation bench of the High Court, he claimed that the action in the case of Aryan Khan is being taken out of revenge. Wankhede also sought that no coercive action related to the CBI’s first information report (FIR) be taken against him.
Wankhede had come to the limelight following the high-profile October 2021 raids by the NCB on a Mumbai cruise after which the agency had arrested Aryan Khan, son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, and 19 others and claimed to have seized some narcotics too. The NCB had later given a clean chit to Aryan Khan.
Sameer Wankhede's chats with Gyaneshwar Singh
Sameer Wankhede’s exclusive Whatsapp chats with then NCB Deputy Director General Gyaneshwar Singh have surfaced. The conversation took place shortly after the high-profile detention of Aryan Khan on October 2, 2021. Chats between the two officers post the arrest of Aryan Khan were accessed by the news agency IANS.
In the WhatsApp messages, Wankhede expresses his gratitude, stating, "Sir, I am blessed to have a boss like you." It becomes evident that Wankhede held Singh in high regard at that period.
Wankhede informed Singh that a rave party was going on, and Aryan Khan and his eight friends were given free VVIP tickets worth Rs 3 lakh. He also informed Singh through the WhatsApp chat that cocaine, charas, ganja and MDMA (ecstasy) were being supplied at the cruise.
What is most surprising is that Wankhede informed Singh that even girls were being supplied on the cruise. Wankhede said that MDMA and ecstasy were found with girls only. Later, Wankhede asks Singh, "Do you know what MDMA or ecstasy is?"
Wankhede and 4 others booked
Earlier, CBI registered a corruption case against IRS officer Sameer Wankhede along with others. A search operation was conducted at 29 locations including Mumbai, Ranchi, Kanpur, Delhi on May 12. Sameer Wankhede and 4 others were booked under the Prevention of Corruption and IPC sections.
He demanded bribes in lieu of settling Case No. 94/2021 registered by NCB
After the investigation, the vigilance team of NCB requested the CBI to investigate the matter. Investigation revealed that the Zonal Director of Mumbai NCB and other accused had demanded bribes in lieu of settling Case No. 94/2021 registered by NCB and also took some money.
Wankhede demanded Rs 25 crore
Later, the CBI booked Wankhede and others for alleged criminal conspiracy and threat of extortion, besides under provisions pertaining to bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint by the NCB.
The CBI in its FIR has alleged that Wankhede and others demanded Rs 25 cr in the Cordelia Cruise Aryan Khan case and took Rs 50 lakh as extortion.
Earlier, Thane police had also registered an FIR against Narcotics Control Bureau's former Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede for alleged forgery in connection with a licence which he had procured for a bar and hotel owned by him in Navi Mumbai.
Wankhede, who was being probed for allegedly submitting a fake caste certificate for getting a government job, was given a clean chit by the caste scrutiny committee.
CBI summons Wankhede
The CBI on Wednesday had summoned former Mumbai NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede asking him to appear before them on May 18. The probing agency had directed him to appear before the CBI Mumbai office in connection with a corruption case in Star Kid Aryan Khan's drugs cruise matter.
However, the Delhi High Court on May 17 granted protection from coercive action to Wankhede for five days with the liberty to approach the appropriate forum, which would be the Bombay High Court. Wankhede moved Delhi HC seeking cross FIR against Deputy DG NCB Gyaneshwar Singh, claiming that the allegations by NCB against him are "false and misleading".
(With agencies input)