Sameer Wankhede Approaches Bombay HC Seeking Quashing Of ED Case

Sameer Wankhede Approaches Bombay HC Seeking Quashing Of ED Case

The ED registered a money laundering case against Wankhede based on a FIR by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleging that the officer demanded Rs25 crore from actor Shah Rukh Khan not to include his son, Aryan Khan’s name in the Cordelia cruise drug bust case.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Sunday, February 11, 2024, 10:02 AM IST
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Former Mumbai NCB chief Sameer Wankhede | ANI

Mumbai: Indian Revenue Service officer and former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede has approached the Bombay High Court challenging the money laundering case registered against him by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) alleging that the same is due to “counter blast” to his complaint against NCB' Deputy Director General Gyaneshwar Singh.

The ED registered a money laundering case against Wankhede based on a FIR by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleging that the officer demanded Rs25 crore from actor Shah Rukh Khan not to include his son, Aryan Khan’s name in the Cordelia cruise drug bust case.

Smacks Of Malice, Vendetta: Sameer Wankhede On ED Case

In his plea, Wankhede, a 2008-batch IRS officer of the Customs and Indirect Taxes cadre, has alleged that the ED case “smacks of malice and vendetta”.

The petition filed on February 6 through advocates Karan Jain, Sneha Sanap and Aditya Targe seeks quashing of the ED case. Pending hearing, he has sought interim relief of protection from any coercive action.

He has also sought that the ED be restrained from conducting the probe till the HC decides his another petition in which he has challenged the case registered against him by the CBI.

Both his petitions – against the CBI probe and against the ED probe – are likely to come up for hearing before a division bench of Justices PD Naik and NR Borkar on February 15.

Bombay HC Grants Interim Protection To Wankhede

In May 2023, the high court had granted him interim protection from coercive action in the CBI case.

His plea against the ED case claims that the probe agency had registered the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) last year, whereas the summons were issued now to some NCB officers after he filed a complaint against Gyaneshwar Singh last month before a Delhi court seeking action against him under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. He said that he was forced to approach the sessions court in Delhi as the Delhi police and the Mumbai police had failed to conduct an inquiry against Singh based on his complaint letters to both the police forces.

On February 6, sessions judge Devender Kumar Jangala issued notices to the Deputy Commissioner of Police , South West Delhi directing him to submit an action taken report on Wankhede's complaints.

Wankhede’s plea before the HC states that Singh and few powerful people in power have unleashed all agencies like the CBI, ED and NCB to fix him in some cases. It also claims that Wankhede had received a call threatening him to withdraw his complaints against Singh and resign from his post as IRS officer.

Bribery Case Against Sameer Wankhede

In 2023, following a complaint by the NCB, the CBI registered a case against Wankhede for demanding Rs25 crore bribe for not framing Aryan Khan. Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in the drugs-on-cruise case. Wankhede and others were booked for alleged criminal conspiracy and threat of extortion under the Indian Penal Code and provisions pertaining to bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Aryan Khan was arrested in the alleged drug bust case on the Cordelia cruise ship on October 2, 2021. The NCB filed the chargesheet against 14 accused in the case but dropped charges against Aryan Khan.

An internal vigilance probe was initiated against Wankhede after an “independent witness” claimed that NCB officer and a witness in the drug bust case, Kiran Gosavi, had demanded Rs25 crore to let off Aryan Khan. Based on evidence provided by the NCB, the CBI registered a case.

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