Updated: May 27, 2022 3:55:04 pm
Addressing a press conference Friday after giving a clean chit to Aryan Khan in the Cordelia cruise drugs case in October last year, S N Pradhan, Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), said there was no sufficient evidence against him and he is not a part of any international drug cartel nor is there any conspiracy. Pradhan added action will be taken against the Mumbai NCB team that arrested him as serious irregularities have been found in the investigation done by the team.
Pradhan said, “The SIT formed to look into the probe done by our Mumbai NCB team found irregularities in the investigation. Out of 20 accused, six were not chargesheeted as physical and circumstantial evidence was not found against them. The remaining 14 accused were chargesheeted as corroborative evidence was found against them. As per Supreme Court, there has to be evidence ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ which was found in the case of the 14 accused but not in case of the remaining six accused (including Aryan Khan). So, the principle of ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ of the Supreme Court was followed by us.”
When asked that Aryan Khan had to spend 22 days in jail because it was alleged that there was international cartel linked to the case and what action will now be taken against officials for levelling wrong allegations against him, Pradhan said, “The inquiry is on in this matter and it will be completed soon. The SIT in its probe showed some serious irregularities and appropriate action will be taken in this regard (against officials).”
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“It’s obvious that we are open to scrutiny. Hence, we took over the case after it landed in a controversy and did a professional investigation,” added Pradhan.
Replying to the allegations of international links and conspiracy, Pradhan said, “There is no international conspiracy found in the case. The accused had come in groups of four, three and two persons. It was not a joint conspiracy done by 14 people and so the conspiracy section has not been added. We cannot base the conspiracy charge merely on WhatsApp chats,” said Pradhan.
When asked if the NCB team led by Sameer Wankhede will face action for arresting Aryan Khan, Pradhan said, “I will not jump immediately to blame the team (that arrested Aryan). SIT is looking into this. Initially they may have had reasons to arrest but in subsequent part of the investigation…no possession or corroborative evidence was found against him (Aryan) after the arrest.”
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