The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected the pre-arrest bail plea of Samville D’Souza, the alleged middleman whose name was first heard following the arrest of Aryan Khan in the cruise drugs bust case. D’Souza is alleged to have introduced Kiran Gosavi, NCB’s star witness in the case, with SRK’s manager Pooja Dadlani.
A vacation bench of Justice Surendra Tavade rejected the anticipatory bail application saying that D’Souza had failed to approach the sessions court for relief before approaching the HC.
The vacation court, which had 112 cases listed before it, took up D’Souza’s case for hearing around 9.45 pm.
D’Souza’s advocate Arun Rajput argued that his case was similar to that of Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede who was granted relief by the HC last week. In Wankhede’s case, the Mumbai police had assured the HC that they would give three-days’ notice to the officer before arrest.
However, justice Tavade said that he wasn’t inclined to grant relief as he failed to approach the Sessions court first.
In his plea before the HC, D’Souza has claimed that the Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) star witness Kiran Gosavi took Rs 50 lakh from Shah Rukh Khan’s manager Pooja Dadlani to get Aryan released on October 2. However, the money was returned after Aryan was arrested by the NCB. He has even said that Gosavi claimed that no drugs were found in Aryan’s possession and that the 23-year-old was innocent. D’Souza was named by Gosavi’s bodyguard Prabhakar Sail in the alleged matter of brokering a deal to free Aryan.
After controversies surfaced in the matter, the Maharashtra government has set up a Special Investigation Team to probe the case.
In his plea, D’Souza has said that he has “apprehension that he may be arrested by this SIT”. He has prayed that he be given a notice of three days before any coercive action is taken against him. In the application, he has said he is being falsely implicated and that Gosavi and Sail are the main conspirators.
D’Souza has claimed that he later learnt that there were allegations of corruption and extortion against an NCB official and others, including himself, and that a deal of Rs 18 crore was made for the release of a prominent accused (Aryan Khan).
D’Souza has said in his application that he was informed on October 2 by an acquaintance about the NCB detaining an influential person, following which he went to the cruise terminal gate where he met Gosavi and Manish Bhanushali, another NCB witness. Gosavi then informed him that the NCB had detained Aryan, who wanted to speak with his father’s manager Pooja Dadlani.
His application reads, “…Kiran Gosavi convinced me that he could help Aryan Khan get relief and asked me to connect with Pooja Dadlani.” D’Souza then connected with Dadlani through a mutual friend and met her at Lower Parel along with Gosavi.
“Gosavi showed her (Dadlani) a list in which Aryan Khan’s name was not present and informed her that he (Aryan) did not have any drugs on him and that he can help him get out of this situation,” adds D’Souza’s application. D’Souza has claimed that he then left so as to give Gosavi and Dadlani privacy and hence was not part of their discussion. He has further claimed that he was shocked to learn about Aryan’s arrest the next day.
According to D’Souza, his acquaintance Sunil Patil informed him that Gosavi had taken Rs 50 lakh from Dadlani through Sail, who is also a witness in the case.
D’Souza’s plea reads, “Gosavi and Sail are fraud and the main conspirators in the case. After coming to know about this, the applicant’s only motive was to recover the money and save his own image. Thereafter, he recovered the money and returned the same to Pooja Dadlani through her husband.”