Mumbai: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and its zonal director Sameer Wankhede approached a special court here on Monday against allegations of extortion levelled against them in the cruise drugs seizure case, in which Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan is an accused.
Wankhede in his affidavit submitted to the court refuted the allegations levelled against him, and claimed he was under a "lurking threat of arrest as it does not suit some vested interests for conducting an honest and impartial investigation".
Wankhede also claimed that he was being personally targeted by a well-known political figure, and the only reason he can fathom was that the NCB had arrested "this person's son-in-law Sameer Khan".
Notably, Sameer Khan is the son-in-law of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik.
The NCB and Wankhede in their affidavits, submitted to the court designated to hear cases related to the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), also said the allegations against them were an attempt to create hurdles and scuttle the investigation in the case.
The NCB in its affidavit sought that there should be no tampering with the evidence or investigation in the case.
On Sunday, an independent witness in the case, in a statement to the media, 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 in the case.
Prabhakar Sail, the 'independent witness', told media persons that he had overheard Gosavi telling one Sam D'Souza over the phone, after Aryan Khan was brought to the NCB office following the October 2 raid, about a demand of Rs 25 crore and "to settle at Rs 18 crore as they have to give Rs eight crore to Sameer Wankhede".
Sail had said he would soon release evidence to support his claim.
The NCB and Wankhede rubbished these claims in their affidavits submitted to the court on Monday.
Wankhede's affidavit claimed there has been personal vendetta against him and his family members.
"I am under a lurking threat of arrest as it does not suit some vested interests for conducting an honest and impartial investigation," Wankhede said adding he was ready to face probe to prove his innocence.
He added that the court should take cognisance of such pressures put on officers with an intent to demoralise them so that the truth does not come to light.
The Narcotics Control Bureau in its affidavit termed the allegations levelled against Wankhede and other officers as "completely false, misleading and mischievous and an attempt to malign and tarnish the image of an independent agency like the NCB".
"The allegations of extortion against NCB officials and money changing hands is a clear attempt to undermine the ongoing investigation and create pressure with malafide and ulterior motive," it said.
The agency added that its officers, including Wankhede, have an impeccable service record, replete with honesty and integrity and they are working tirelessly towards making Mumbai a drug-free city.
Special public prosecutor for the NCB, Advait Sethna, on Monday submitted the affidavits before the special court.
Sethna told the court that Sail was threatening to release some evidence which would hamper the case and hence, appropriate orders should be passed.
The court, after hearing Sethna and perusing the affidavits, said it would pass appropriate orders later in the day.
An NCB team led by Wankhede earlier this month allegedly seized drugs onboard a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast following which Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3.
He is currently lodged in the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai. His bail application is likely to be heard by the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.