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Business News/ News / India/  Aryan Khan case: 'Sameer Wankhede won't be arrested till March 1', ED tells Bombay HC
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Aryan Khan case: 'Sameer Wankhede won't be arrested till March 1', ED tells Bombay HC

Wankhede was booked by the CBI in May 2023 on charges of seeking a ₹25 crore bribe for not framing Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in the drugs-on-cruise case.

Sameer Wankhede filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking to quash the ED's case (HT_PRINT)Premium
Sameer Wankhede filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking to quash the ED's case (HT_PRINT)

Sameer Wankhede, the former zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) will not be arrested in a money laundering case till March 1, Enforcement Directorate (ED) told Bombay High Court on Tuesday. 

Bombay High Court's division bench of Justices P D Naik and N R Borkar accepted ED's statement and posted Wankhede's petition against the case on March 1.

The bench has directed the probe agency to produce a copy of the ECIR (complaint) on March 1.

A money laundering case has been registered against Wankhede after the ED took cognisance of a first information report (FIR) by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in an alleged 25-crore bribe demand from Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's family to spare his son Aryan Khan in a drugs case.

In the beginning of this month, the former NCB officer had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking to quash the ED's case. He has also sought, through an interim order, protection from any coercive action and a stay on the agency's probe.

Last week, the ED said it would not arrest Wankhede till February 20 (Tuesday). 

Sandesh Patil, ED's advocate, on Tuesday told the court that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta will appear in the case and sought an adjournment.

"My earlier statement of no arrest or coercive action would stand extended till the time the plea is taken up for hearing," Patil told the court.

The bench accepted the statement and posted the plea for hearing on March 1.

Another petition filed by Wankhede has also been adjourned till March 27. He had filed a plea last year against the extortion and bribery case registered against him by the CBI.

In his plea, the 2008-batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer said the ED's case "smacks of malice and vendetta".

Wankhede claimed that while the ECIR was registered last year, some NCB officers were issues summons now, after he filed a complaint against NCB's deputy director Gyaneshwar Singh.  

Last month, he had filed a complaint against Singh before a Delhi court seeking action under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. He has alleged that Singh and a few powerful people have unleashed agencies, including the CBI, ED and NCB, to fix him in some case.

Wankhede was booked by the CBI in May 2023 on charges of seeking a 25 crore bribe for not framing Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in the drugs-on-cruise case.

Wankhede and others were booked under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 388 (threat of extortion) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) besides provisions under the Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint from the NCB.

Aryan was arrested in the case on the Cordelia cruise ship on October 2, 2021. The NCB later filed a chargesheet against 14 accused but gave a clean chit to Aryan.

The case took a twist when an 'independent witness' in 2021 claimed that 25 crore was demanded by an NCB official and others to let off Aryan Khan.

The NCB later conducted internal vigilance probe against Wankhede and others. The contents of the internal probe were shared with the CBI, leading to the registration of a case against Wankhede.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published: 20 Feb 2024, 01:28 PM IST
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