NCP leader and Minister Nawab Malik on Monday claimed that he had received a letter from an anonymous NCB officer making “disclosures” or allegations against NCB Zonal Director (West) Sameer Wankhede and the agency of planting drugs on accused or otherwise foisting false cases. The letter lists 24 such cases.
In a statement, the NCB denied the allegations and said necessary action would be taken.
The Indian Express examined court records of 20 of the 24 cases in Malik’s list. Records were not available for four. In most others, the NCB has already filed a chargesheet and is waiting for trial. In all, 93 people were arrested in these cases. As per court records, 39 are out on bail.
Some of the cases are well known and were registered in the wake of NCB’s pledge last year that it would dismantle the “citadel of drugs” in Bollywood.
The biggest case in the list is the one in which actor Rhea Chakraborty was arrested. The allegation against Wankhede is that he forcibly added the names of Rhea and her brother Showik in the statements of three accused – Karan Arora, Zaid Vilatra and Abbas Lakhani – who were the first to be arrested in the case lodged after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput last year. All five are out on on bail.
A few others arrested subsequently, including Rajput’s friend Siddharth Pithani, remain in jail.
The trial in the case is yet to begin. In April, a chargesheet was filed by the NCB against 33 people.
Another case involves a fire safety officer with a PSU and two others. The three were arrested in January this year. Two of them are out on bail. The allegation against NCB is that 61 gm of mephedrone was illegally planted on the accused.
Another case involves actor Gaurav Dixit alias Shivaay Sharma and alleged drug peddler Shadab Shaikh alias Shadab Batata, who as per NCB, supply narcotics to western suburbs. Dixit was last month granted bail by the court. The allegation against NCB in this case is that the agency procured 60 gm of mephedrone from an alleged drug supplier
and planted it at Shaikh’s residence to arrest him.
Also in the list is a case in which one of the accused had tried to commit suicide by drinking toilet cleaning liquid in the NCB office. The man had been arrested along with two others with 162 gm of mephedrone worth Rs 16 lakh as per NCB. The allegation is that 64 gm of mephedrone had been planted.
Another case in Malik’s list is one in which the NCB team conducted a raid at a home in Dongri and claimed to have found LSD.
As per court records, of the four persons arrested in the case, while two are out on bail, two others, including the owner of the house, are behind bars. The allegation against NCB is that 1.2 gm of mephedrone and 17 blots of LSD were planted and a false case was made out. Another allegation against the agency in this case is that while Rs 17 lakh was found at the house, only Rs 9 lakh was shown on record while the rest was kept by NCB officers.
In the case of Sameer Khan, son-in-law of Nawab Malik, he and five others were granted bail last month by an NDPS court. The allegation is that 200 gm of tobacco was shown as ganja to register the case.
The list also included the case of a person with a heart condition who is also suffering from a mental condition. He was arrested last December with another person allegedly for being in possession of charas. The allegation against NCB is that an officer wanted Rs 20-25 lakh from his father. He complained to Wankhede, but it was ignored. The accused in this case is still in Taloja jail.
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