In a recent development, Sameer Wankhede, the former zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) who gained prominence for arresting Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, in a drugs case, has been granted protection from "coercive action" by the Bombay High Court. According to reports by NDTV, this ruling comes in response to an extortion case filed against Wankhede by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Wankhede approached the high court, urging them to dismiss the First Information Report (FIR) filed against him by the CBI, which alleges that he demanded a bribe of ₹25 crore from Shah Rukh Khan to prevent implicating Aryan Khan in the drug-on-cruise case. In his petition, Wankhede also sought protection from arrest or any other coercive action.
Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3, 2021, by the NCB following a raid on a cruise ship. However, he was granted bail by the Bombay High Court after three weeks due to the NCB's failure to substantiate its charges against him.
The CBI has charged Wankhede and others with criminal conspiracy, threat of extortion, and bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act, based on a complaint filed by the NCB. According to the probe agency, the NCB's Mumbai Zone received information in October 2021 regarding the consumption and possession of narcotics substances by individuals on the private cruise ship. It further alleges that some NCB officers conspired and obtained bribes from the accused individuals.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court had granted Wankhede five days of protection from coercive action, allowing him to approach the appropriate forum, which turned out to be the Bombay High Court.
The CBI had summoned Wankhede for questioning in Mumbai on Thursday in relation to the case. However, Wankhede did not appear before the agency's team.
According to India Today, Wankhede stated that he had lodged a complaint with the SC Commission in Delhi, seeking an FIR against Gyaneshwar Singh for using abusive language towards him based on his backward community background.
Furthermore, Wankhede revealed that he approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) regarding the report prepared by Gyaneshwar Singh. He explained that he had attempted to file an FIR against Singh under the SC-ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at the Goregaon Police Station in Mumbai in August of the previous year. However, no case has been registered in relation to this matter thus far.
Wankhede asserted that he took Aryan Khan into custody based on instructions from his superiors in the drug-bust case. He also emphasized that he regularly informed his superiors about the progress of the investigation.