Sameer Wankhede: NCB stuck in the deadline of investigation, Sameer Wankhede reached CBI office to record statement in Aryan case

Sameer Wankhede: NCB stuck in the deadline of investigation, Sameer Wankhede reached CBI office to record statement in Aryan case
Mumbai: The CBI and NCB were completely locked in the Bombay High Court on the issue of time limit for the investigation against former NCB officer Sameer Wankhede. Under Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act), a time limit of four months has been set for investigating a questionable decision of a public official. A Special Inquiry Team (SET) was formed on 25 October 2021 to investigate Wankhede’s decisions regarding the cruise drugs case. In view of this, Wankhede’s lawyer Rizwan Merchant questioned that when the investigation started in October, 2021, why the FIR was registered in May, 2023. As of October, 20121, the four-month deadline was met in February, 2022. Wankhede is being deliberately targeted in this case. That’s why the CBI has registered an FIR in this case in May 2023. Meanwhile, former Zonal Director of NCB Mumbai, Sameer Wankhede has reached CBI office for questioning in Aryan Khan drugs case.

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When the division bench of Vacation Justice Sharmila Deshmukh and Justice Arif Doctor asked the NCB when the deadline of four months set for the investigation begins. If the investigation started in October, when would it be considered to be over?

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CBI and NCB’s lawyer asked for time

To this, CBI counsel Kuldeep Patil submitted that the CBI has registered an FIR against the petitioner (Wankhede) after obtaining approval from the Central Government. NCB has investigated the matter. On the other hand, the counsel for NCB said that after completing the investigation, the report was submitted to the competent authority on time. The Bench said that what is the response of the CBI and NCB regarding compliance of the provisions of 17A. On this, the CBI counsel said that they should be given time to file the file and affidavit related to the case. NCB’s lawyer also sought time to reply.

Court’s advice, law is equal for all

The CBI counsel said that instead of granting relief from arrest to Wankhede, he should be directed to approach the trial court for bail. If Wankhede is granted relief, he will not cooperate with the investigation. On this, Merchant said that Wankhede has agreed to cooperate in the investigation from the beginning. The CBI wants to arrest the IRS officer like a normal person in the name of non-cooperation in the investigation. On this, the bench said that the law is the same for everyone, be it a common man or an officer.

Tampering with the charge sheet of the drugs case

During the hearing, Advocate Merchant claimed that NCB officers Dnyaneshwar Singh and Sanjay Singh have changed the chargesheet according to their convenience by destroying the recommendations of legal advisor Japan Vora in the matter. He said that if the NCB was not to make Aryan an accused, he should have been given legal relief under Section 62A of the NDPS, and not by dropping his name from the charge sheet. He said that in future if the special court feels that if there is evidence against Aryan in this case, it can call for hearing under section 319 of CrPC.

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