Sameer Wankhede Money Laundering Case: ED Tells Bombay High Court It Will Not Arrest Ex-NCB Zonal Director Till February 20

Sameer Wankhede Money Laundering Case: ED Tells Bombay High Court It Will Not Arrest Ex-NCB Zonal Director Till February 20

The ED made the statement during the hearing in a petition filed by Wankhede last week seeking quashing of the case registered by the ED.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, February 15, 2024, 07:04 PM IST
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Former Mumbai NCB chief Sameer Wankhede | ANI

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) told the Bombay High Court on Thursday it would not arrest Indian Revenue Officer and former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede in a money laundering case till February 20.

The ED made the statement during the hearing in a petition filed by Wankhede last week seeking quashing of the case registered by the ED. As an interim relief, he sought stay on the probe and protection from any coercive action.

A division bench of Justices PD Naik and NR Borkar said it would not be able to hear the petition on Thursday due to paucity of time. It said it would be able to hear the matter next Tuesday, February 20.

Considering that the matter would have to be heard at length, the judges asked ED advocate Sandesh Patil to state if the agency intends to arrest Wankhede until then.

After taking instructions from the officials concerned, Patil said that the agency would not arrest Wankhede till February 20.

The bench accepted the statement and kept Wankhede’s plea for hearing on February 20.

Patil opposed the plea saying that since the ECIR has already been transferred to the ED's Delhi office, Wankhede should approach the Delhi high court as the cause of action lies in that jurisdiction.

Opposing the argument, Wankhede's counsel Aabad Ponda said that when the IRS officer had moved the Delhi court against the CBI's corruption and extortion case, he was asked to approach the HC here. The ED case stems from the CBI case, which is the predicate offence.

Ponda said that the officer was granted interim protection from coercive action by HC in May last year, which continues till date.

The ED registered a money laundering case against Wankhede following a CBI FIR for allegedly demanding Rs 25 crore from actor Shah Rukh Khan for not arresting his son Aryan Khan in the Cordelia Cruise drug bust case in October 2021.

Wankhede, in his plea, had alleged that the ED's case "smacks of malice and vendetta". He had also alleged that the ECIR was filed last year but the summons were issued this year after he filed a complaint against NCB's deputy director Gyaneshwar Singh last month before a Delhi court seeking action against him under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

He further alleged that Singh and few powerful people in power have unleashed all agencies like the CBI, ED and NCB to fix him in some cases.

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