NEW DELHI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing on bail application of Aryan Khan in connection with the drug seizure from a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast earlier this month.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had opposed the bail plea saying the Aryan could influence the process of investigation.
Aryan, who was arrested earlier this month in the Mumbai cruise drugs seizure case, had moved the high court after a special court in Mumbai refused to grant him bail last week.
Meanwhile, NCP leader Nawab Malik today levelled yet another allegation against NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede, accusing the latter of illegally tapping his phone.
Here are the key developments so far …
‘No consumption, recovery of drugs from Aryan Khan’
Former attorney general of India Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Aryan Khan in his bail application, told the court that nothing was recovered from his client, no medical was done to ascertain is he has taken any drug and “there was no recovery, no consumption”.
He told the court that Aryan Khan was “no case of possession of drugs” against Aryan Khan and that he was arrested wrongly. He said, “it was fit case for bail”. Rohatgi said six grams of charas was recovered from accused number 2 (Arbaz Merchant) and Aryan had no relation with him except for arriving with him there.
NCB team to head to Mumbai to probe allegations against Sameer Wankhede
A five-member team of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) will go from Delhi to Mumbai tomorrow to probe allegations of corruption levelled against its officer Sameer Wankhede who is heading investigations into the drugs-on-cruise case.
Prabhakar Sail, who is an ‘independent witness’, has claimed that Rs 25 crore was demanded by an official of the NCB and other persons, including absconding witness K P Gosavi, to let off Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who was arrested in the case.
‘Aryan involved in illicit drug trafficking’
Strongly opposing Aryan Khan’s bail application, the anti-drugs agency said the 23-year-old was not just a consumer of drugs, but also involved in illicit trafficking.
The agency also claimed that Aryan Khan and a woman named Pooja Dadlani, Shah Rukh Khan’s manager, were tampering with the evidence and witnesses in the case in an attempt to derail the investigation.
On the other side, Aryan Khan’s advocates submitted to the HC an additional note, stating that he has nothing to do with the allegations and counter allegations that are being circulated between the NCB’s zonal director Sameer Wankhede and certain political personalities.
They were referring to the extortion allegation levelled by Prabhakar Sail, the bodyguard of NCB witness Kiran Gosavi. Sail alleged there were attempts by NCB officials, including Wankhede, to extort money from Shah Rukh Khan. The charge has been denied by the agency.
Mukul Rohatgi represents Aryan in HC
Former attorney general of India Mukul Rohatgi is representing Aryan in the high court.
According to a statement of Karanjawala & Company, Mukul Rohatgi along with his Karanjawala & Co team consisting of Senior Partners Ruby Singh Ahuja and Sandeep Kapur have flown to Bombay to add to legal team of Aryan Khan.
The team already has senior advocates Amit Desai, Satish Manshinde, Anandini Fernandes along with advocate Rustom Mulla, Desai Desai Carrimjee & Mulla.
Malik vs Wankhede intensifies
Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Tuesday accused NCB official Sameer Wankhede of illegal phone tapping and announced that he will hand over a letter on the official’s ‘misdeeds’ to the agency head.
“Sameer Wankhede through two persons in Mumbai and Thane is illegally intercepting the mobile phones of some people,” said Malik, who has been targeting Wankhede after his son-in-law’s arrest.
Malik also claimed that Wankhede had sought the call detail record (CDR) of his family member from the police.
The NCP minister said the NCB should investigate the 26 allegations in the letter claiming an “extortion racket” being run within the anti-drugs agency.
Will take action: NCB DDG Jain on Malik’s allegations
In the wake of a letter tweeted by Malik, NCB’s deputy director general Mutha Ashok Jain on Tuesday said they will take necessary action into the matter.
When asked about the letter, Jain told reporters outside that he has “received a paper on WhatsApp” and they will take “necessary action”.
Wankhede visits Delhi headquarters
Meanwhile, Sameer Wankhede visited the agency’s headquarters in the national capital on Tuesday.
The officer entered the NCB headquarters in R K Puram area through a back entry gate and is expected to meet senior officers.
Earlier, Wankhede had said he hasn’t been summoned by the NCB and is in Delhi for some other work.
‘BJP acts like it owns central probe agencies’
The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said the BJP acts like it owns central investigation agencies, but it should not forget that in a democracy owners do change.
An editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said the allegations of Rs 25 crore demand in the drugs case are just the tip of the iceberg. “The owners and their employees should be beware of the consequences,” it said.
The question is not about actor Shah Rukh Khan or his son, but it is about the character and honesty of the central investigation agencies. Who is going to find out where Kiran Gosavi, one of the (NCB’s) witness in the case, is hiding? it said.
Gosavi still untraceable
Meanwhile, KP Gosavi, who is facing a cheating in Pune, was untraceable after his photos and videos with Aryan Khan went viral on social media following the NCB’s raid on the cruise ship off the Mumbai coast earlier this month.
On Monday, Gosavi refuted the extortion claims made by his aide and another witness in the case, Prabhakar Sail, and said he will surrender shortly before the Lucknow police.
The NCB has ordered a vigilance inquiry into the claims made by Sail about of an extortion bid of Rs 25 crore by some agency officials, including its Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede, and others for letting off Aryan Khan.
The three ruling parties in Maharashtra – Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress – have repeatedly claimed that central agencies were being used to target the opposition parties.
Leaked WhatsApp chat reveals ‘cocaine’ discussion
Earlier, screenshots of Aryan’s purported WhatsApp chats emerged in which the actor’s son was discussing a “cocaine plan” with two others.
In the chats, he also jokingly threatened his friends by getting the NCB to act against them. Besides this, he was also in talks about buying drugs and placed a bulk order worth Rs 80,000 for weed.
The authenticity of the chats could not be independently verified.
Midnight drama in Lucknow
Earlier today, Lucknow witnessed high drama around midnight when Gosavi, the private detective from Mumbai, announced that he would surrender at Mandiaon police station “any moment:’
Gosavi said he wanted to surrender before the Uttar Pradesh police as he felt “threatened” in Maharashtra.
But the expected drama ended in anti-climax when Gosavi failed to turn up and Lucknow police commissioner DK Thakur said that Gosavi cannot surrender in the city “because the police station does not have the jurisdiction to take any action against him”.
(With inputs from agencies)