Won’t arrest Sameer Wankhede till March 1: ED tells Bombay HC | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Won’t arrest Sameer Wankhede till March 1: ED tells Bombay HC

BySahyaja MS
Feb 20, 2024 05:22 PM IST

The ED registered a money laundering case against Wankhede after taking cognisance of an FIR by the CBI in an alleged ₹25-cr bribe demand from Shah Rukh’s family to spare his son in drugs case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday assured the Bombay high court on Tuesday that it will not take any coercive action against Sameer Wankhede, former Mumbai Zonal Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), until March 1.

The bench directed the probe agency to produce a copy of the ECIR (complaint) on March 1. (File photo)
The bench directed the probe agency to produce a copy of the ECIR (complaint) on March 1. (File photo)

The ED’s case, registered in July 2023, is based on an FIR (first information report) by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on May 11 that year.

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The FIR alleged that Wankhede and some other persons had tried to extort 25 crore from actor Shah Rukh Khan in exchange for not booking his son, Aryan Khan, in the Cordelia cruise ship drugs bust case in 2021.

Also Read: Cordelia drug bust case: SET referred to wrong I-note, Wankhede tells HC

Aryan was arrested in October 2021 by a team led by Wankhede but later received a clean chit from the NCB.

The NCB’s internal vigilance probe, initiated following allegations of corruption against Wankhede and others, led to the registration of a case against Wankhede by the CBI.

Wankhede, an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, approached the high court on February 6 for quashing of the money laundering case registered by ED against him and requesting protection from coercive action. He claimed that the case against him was motivated by malice and vendetta.

On February 15, when Wankhede’s petition came up for hearing for the first time, advocate Sandesh Patil, representing the ED, stated on instructions that the IRS officer won’t be arrested by ED until Tuesday.

On Tuesday, when the petition came up for hearing, Patil informed the division bench of Justice PD Naik and Justice NR Borkar that solicitor general Tushar Mehta will be appearing in the matter to argue on behalf of the ED and sought adjournment. Accordingly, the bench posted the matter for further hearing on March 1.

During the hearing, the bench sought a copy of the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) registered by ED against Wankhede, but the IRS officer’s counsel, senior advocate Abad Ponda, expressed inability to do so, stating that unlike FIR, ECIR is not a public document and therefore they did not have a copy of the same.

The bench then directed ED to submit a copy of the ECIR on the next date of hearing for its perusal.

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