Sameer Wankhede, the former Mumbai zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), has submitted a rejoinder affidavit to the Bombay High Court, alleging that the NCB’s Special Enquiry Team (SET) had an ulterior motive of giving a clean chit to Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, in a drugs-on-cruise case. Wankhede, whose interim protection from arrest in a separate CBI case was extended by the High Court till June 23, claimed that the SET manipulated facts, labeled false allegations, and suppressed material evidence to tarnish the reputation of honest officials.
In his affidavit, Wankhede argued that the SET sought to suppress crucial information and evidence that could have implicated Aryan Khan, thereby violating legal provisions. Wankhede filed the rejoinder affidavit as part of his petition to quash the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) case against him, which alleged extortion and bribery.
The CBI’s case accuses Wankhede and four others of demanding a bribe of ₹25 crore from Shah Rukh Khan in exchange for not implicating his son, Aryan, in a drug seizure case on a cruise ship. The CBI initiated the case based on a written complaint filed by the NCB. The High Court posted Wankhede’s petition for a hearing on June 23 and extended the interim protection granted to him from arrest until then.
Wankhede claimed that the SET’s primary objective was to create doubt regarding the Cordelia cruise case in order to provide Aryan Khan with a clean chit. He further alleged that the SET report was biased and motivated by personal vendetta, as his superior, Gyaneshwar Singh, the Deputy Director General of NCB, had a personal grudge against him. Wankhede stated that he had previously filed a complaint against Singh for committing serious caste-based atrocities in August 2022.
Explosive Bombshell: Sameer Wankhede Accuses NCB of ‘Manipulating Facts and Hidden Agenda’ to Exonerate Aryan Khan, Tells Bombay HC
Regarding the controversial selfie taken by independent witness K P Gosavi with Aryan Khan, Wankhede justified it by stating that, due to Aryan’s celebrity status, many people wanted to take photographs with him. Wankhede claimed that the selfie was taken without the NCB’s consent. Wankhede’s counsel, Aabad Ponda, informed the court that Wankhede had cooperated with the CBI and appeared for interrogation seven times, as per the court’s earlier directions.
Sameer Wankhede accuses NCB of ‘manipulating facts and hidden agenda’ to exonerate Aryan Khan, tells Bombay HC
The CBI’s advocate, Kuldeep Patil, informed the court that the investigation was at a crucial stage. The High Court scheduled the next hearing on June 23 and extended the interim relief granted to Wankhede until then. Wankhede had approached the High Court seeking to quash the CBI case against him and sought protection from any coercive action. Earlier, a vacation bench of the High Court had granted him interim protection from arrest until June 8 and instructed him to cooperate with the investigation. Last week, the CBI filed an affidavit seeking the recall of the protection, claiming that it had a prima facie case against Wankhede.
Wankhede, an IRS officer, and the other accused in the case have been booked on charges of criminal conspiracy, extortion threats, and bribery under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act. Aryan Khan and several others were arrested in October 2021 on charges of alleged possession, consumption, and trafficking of drugs. Aryan Khan was later granted bail by the High Court after spending three weeks in jail. The NCB filed its chargesheet without naming A
ryan as an accused in the case, citing a lack of evidence. Subsequently, the NCB established the SET to conduct an inquiry into the case and the actions of its own officers.