Aryan Khan case: HC asks CBI not to take ‘coercive action’ against Sameer Wankhede till Monday

CBI accuses Wankhede of demanding ₹25 crore bribe from actor Shah Rukh Khan in exchange of not implicating his son Aryan Khan in the Cordelia cruise drug bust case

Sameer Wankhede

In a short relief for former NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede, the Bombay High Court on Friday (May 19) gave him protection against any “coercive action” like arrest till May 22.

Wankhede, who had arrested Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the  Cordelia cruise drug bust case, has been accused by the CBI of demanding ₹25 crore bribe from the actor in exchange of not implicating his son.

Also read: Aryan Khan bribery case: Sameer Wankhede moves HC to quash CBI’s FIR against him

Wankhede, an Indian Revenue Service official who was posted with the Narcotics Control Bureau in Mumbai in 2021, has moved the court with a petition seeking to quash the FIR registered by the CBI against him for alleged extortion and bribery.

A vacation bench of the court passed the order after recording Wankhede’s undertaking that he will remain present at the CBI’s office in Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai at 11 am on Saturday.

The CBI shall not take any “coercive action” against Wankhede till May 22, the court said.

The central agency registered the FIR against Wankhede and four others recently for alleged criminal conspiracy and threat of extortion besides offences related to bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the NCB’s complaint.

Also read: Aryan Khan case: Ex-NCB officer Wankhede in trouble over foreign visits

Aryan Khan was arrested by the NCB on October 3, 2021, following alleged drug seizure on board the Cordelia cruise ship in Mumbai.

He was granted bail by the high court after three weeks as the anti-drugs agency failed to substantiate its charges against him.

The CBI alleged that the NCB Mumbai Zone had received information in October 2021 regarding the consumption and possession of narcotic substances by various individuals on the cruise ship, and some NCB officers conspired to get bribes from the accused in return for letting them off.

Also read: CBI books Sameer Wankhede for ‘seeking’ ₹25 cr bribe to let off Aryan Khan in drugs-on-cruise case

The CBI had summoned Wankhede for questioning in Mumbai on Thursday, but he did not appear.

(With inputs from agencies)