NCB sticks to its claim: Film producer Kshitij Prasad part of drug trafficking racket

Published on Sep 29, 2022 09:42 PM IST

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Thursday reiterated its claim before the special NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) court that film producer Kshitij Prasad was part of a gang of drug traffickers

Mumbai, India - November 07, 2020: Executive producer Kshitij Ravi Prasad outside Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, November 07, 2020. (HT PHOTO) (Hindustan Times)
Mumbai, India - November 07, 2020: Executive producer Kshitij Ravi Prasad outside Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, November 07, 2020. (HT PHOTO) (Hindustan Times)
By, Mumbai

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Thursday reiterated its claim before the special NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) court that film producer Kshitij Prasad was part of a gang of drug traffickers.

Prasad, who worked as an executive producer with Karan Johar’s Dharma Production, was arrested by NCB on September 26, 2020. The special court had on November 29 that year granted him bail.

In July, Prasad moved the court seeking discharge from the case on the grounds that his was “a case of absolutely no evidence”. He also referred to the case of actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, who was exonerated by a special investigation team of the agency for want of cogent evidence.

“The investigation in both the aforesaid cases was carried out by an overzealous and over-ambitious officer,” Prasad said in his plea filed through advocate Nikhil Maneshinde, referring to the then NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede.

NCB in its reply on Thursday said the allegations made against the officers of the agency’s Mumbai unit were false.

Pointing to the allegations against Prasad, NCB said, “Prasad purchased hashish/ganja from accused Ankush Arneja, who used to facilitate procurement of drugs from another accused Anuj Keshwani. Hence, applicant Prasad is part of a conspiracy for the procurement and distribution of drugs with Arenja and other accused.”

“A variety of drugs, including LSD in commercial quantity, was seized from Keshwani. Therefore, the case of commercial quantity and criminal conspiracy with others is clearly made out,” NCB claimed, adding that Prasad knew many drug dealers and was transacting with them.

NCB also said its investigation is at a crucial stage. “The work of gathering and collecting evidence is in progress.”

The court has posted the matter for further hearing on October 13.

For deciding the severity of a crime, the NDPS Act divides quantities of contraband into three categories – small, intermediate and commercial. The quantities differ for different drugs.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Charul Shah is senior reporter covering the legal beat for Hindustan Times. She has spent over a decade in the industry covering criminal investigations and judiciary from Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

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