The Bombay High Court on Wednesday allowed IRS officer and former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede to amend his petition seeking quashing of the FIR filed against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in an alleged corruption and extortion case, to add a ground that the alleged bribe giver ought to be prosecuted along with the bribe taker.
The central agency’s FIR alleges that Wankhede and others extorted bribes from actor Shah Rukh Khan not to implicate the actor’s son Aryan Khan in the 2021 Cordelia Cruise drug bust case.
'Celebrity not booked for giving bribes'
On Wednesday, his counsel Aabad Ponda argued that the CBI has alleged that a bribe was taken, but it has not booked the “celebrity” for allegedly giving bribes. He pointed out Section 7 of the amended Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act) which states that even the giver of the bribes should also be prosecuted.
Ponda also argued that the CBI has alleged that Wankhede possessed disproportionate assets. Section 13 of the PC Act provides “disproportionate assets” as an offence, however the CBI has not charged Wankhede with Section 13 of PC Act.
He has also sought to amend his plea stating that under Section 17A of the PC Act, the sanction obtained by NCB along with the complaint is not proper as they do not have authority. A division bench of Justices Ajey Gadkari and SG Dige has allowed Wankhede to amend his plea and said that no further amendments would be allowed.
Earlier, Wankhede had amended his plea saying the sanction granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs was not proper since he was on loan to the NCB and was always working under the Ministry of Finance.
Petition filed to intervene in Wankhede's plea
Two other petitions have been filed by a social activist and an advocate seeking to intervene in Wankhede’s plea contending that the CBI should also register an FIR against Shah Rukh Khan, his manager Pooja Dadlani and Aryan Khan for allegedly giving bribes.
The HC has asked Wankhede to carry out the amendment