Major Relief For Sameer Wankhede As CAT Dismisses SET Report

Major Relief For Sameer Wankhede As CAT Dismisses SET Report

The CAT ordered the SET report will not be relied upon in any further departmental inquiry and disciplinary proceedings against the former NCB Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede.

Dharmesh ThakkarUpdated: Tuesday, May 07, 2024, 09:43 PM IST
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Major Relief For Sameer Wankhede As CAT Dismisses SET Report | ANI

Mumbai: In a major victory for Sameer Wankhede, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) sets aside the evidences recorded during the course of the preliminary inquiry, including an inquiry conducted by the Special Enquiry Team (SET) of the Narcotics Control Bureau.

The CAT ordered the SET report will not be relied upon in any further departmental inquiry and disciplinary proceedings against the former NCB Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede.

Earlier CAT had upheld findings that Gyaneshwar Singh should not have been the SET chairman when he himself was supervising the Cordelia case. The 2008 Indian Revenue Service officer had earlier moved the high court to contest the August 2023 order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT)’s principal bench in Delhi for not quashing the findings of the SET.

Wankhede had contended that Gynaneshwar Singh being actively involved in the investigation of the Cordelia drug bust case, should not have been part of the SET constituted to hold an enquiry into alleged procedural lapses on the part of officials during the seizure and follow-up action in connection with the case.

Last month the Delhi high court had ordered that the evidence recorded by the NCB SET should not be relied upon in any departmental enquiry that might be held against him. The internal vigilance inquiry was set up by the NCB under its then deputy director-general (northern region) Gyaneshwar Singh to examine alleged misconduct by the Wankhede-led team probing the October 2021 Cordelia cruise drug bust case and arrest of bollwood badsah Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan.

“The court said that the evidence collected by the SET and Gyaneshwar Singh could not be used against Wankhede. The SET headed by Singh stands vitiated,” claimed legal aide of Sameer Wankhede.

The CAT order had listed finance ministry, the NCB, the MHA, Gyaneshwar Singh, and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs as respondents and noted NCB arguments that the impugned SET report was preliminary in nature and the respondents had to take an independent decision regarding the action against Wankhede.

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