Corruption Charges and Legal Consequences for Sameer Wankhede
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a corruption case against Sameer Wankhede, the former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer who arrested Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan in a drugs case two years ago. This development has sparked widespread public outrage and has left many wondering about the transparency and credibility of the Indian law enforcement agencies.
The CBI case was registered against three public servants, including Sameer Wankhede, who has been booked under Section 7, 7A, and 12 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, and Sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 388 (extortion by threat) of the IPC. According to the complaint, Wankhede is accused of demanding a bribe of Rs 25 crore to not frame Aryan Khan in the drug bust.
The case has caused a major uproar in the Indian media and the general public, who have been closely following the case since Aryan Khan’s arrest in October 2021. Wankhede had led a team that raided Cordelia cruise at the Mumbai International Cruise Terminal and arrested Aryan Khan and others. Initially, charges of drug possession, consumption, and trafficking were applied in the case. However, Aryan Khan, who had spent 22 days in jail, was given a clean chit by the NCB in May 2022 due to “lack of sufficient evidence.”
The NCB team and Sameer Wankhede were also facing allegations of high-handedness, leading to a separate vigilance inquiry. Later, Sameer Wankhede was transferred to the DG Taxpayer Service Directorate in Chennai. The CBI case was registered following a preliminary inquiry by the CBI on the basis of a vigilance report, which found that Sameer Wankhede had amassed assets through corruption.
The case has reignited the debate on the lack of transparency and corruption in the Indian law enforcement agencies. Many believe that this case is just the tip of the iceberg and that there are many more cases of corruption and abuse of power that go unreported and unpunished. The CBI’s investigation into the case is seen as a positive step towards bringing transparency and accountability to the Indian law enforcement agencies.
The case has also raised questions about the influence of Bollywood and its star power over the Indian law enforcement agencies. The arrest of Aryan Khan had created a media frenzy and had put the spotlight on the alleged drug use in Bollywood. Many saw the arrest as a witch-hunt against the film industry, while others believed that the law should be equally applied to everyone, irrespective of their social status or profession.
The case has also brought to light the need for a thorough and unbiased investigation into the allegations of drug use in Bollywood. The NCB had questioned at least four actresses, including Deepika Padukone, in 2020, but none were accused of any wrongdoing. The agency had also arrested actress Rhea Chakraborty in 2020 for allegedly buying drugs for her actor boyfriend, Sushant Singh Rajput. Rajput was found dead in his flat, and police at the time said he had killed himself.
The case has brought the issue of drug use in Bollywood back into the limelight, with many questioning the effectiveness of the law enforcement agencies in curbing the problem. Some believe that the agencies are too busy targeting high-profile individuals and are ignoring the bigger problem of drug use in society.
In conclusion, the corruption case against Sameer Wankhede has sparked widespread public outrage and has raised serious questions about the transparency and credibility of the Indian law enforcement agencies.