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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

‘Professional misconduct’: NCB suspends officers probing Karishma Prakash & Bharti Singh cases

The probe into Bollywood’s alleged drug links is being led by Mumbai Police zonal unit in charge Sameer Wankhede. When asked till when will the two officers remain suspended, Wankhede refused to comment.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | December 4, 2020 12:41:43 am
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Following allegations of professional misconduct, the NCB on Wednesday suspended two investigating officers (IO) probing Bollywood’s link with drugs.

While one of the officers was probing the case in which comedian Bharti Singh and her husband was arrested, the other was investigating the case where actor Deepika Padukone’s manager Karishma Prakash is under scanner.

Following the arrest of a drug peddler, NCB had raided Prakash’s residence on October 27 and seized 1.7 gm of hashish. She was summoned for questioning. She did not appear before the NCB and eventually moved court, which asked her to join the probe and provided her interim relief from arrest. The court will further hear the matter on December 5.

“The IO had suggested that she hire a particular lawyer to fight her case,” an officer said. After the matter came to light, the officer was suspended.

“The officer had no business suggesting lawyers to people whom he is investigating. The inquiry will look into the reasons behind the officer’s actions,” the officer added.

Comedian Bharti Singh and her husband Harsh Limbachiya were arrested on November 21 after recovery of 86.5 gm of marijuana from their residence in Mumbai. They were sent to judicial custody on November 22. The next day, they filed for bail and were granted the same as the IO did not appear before the special NDPS court hearing the matter.

The NCB has since then challenged the order as its side was not heard before bail was granted. For the bail hearing, even public prosecutor Atul Sarpande was not present in court.

“It will be probed why the officer investigating the case did not reach for the hearing in time,” an officer said. Sources said that the news of the IO not reaching the court on time did not go down well with senior officers, following which an inquiry was ordered and the officer suspended.

A source, however, said that the officer was part of the NCB team that was attacked by a mob in Goregaon on November 22 when it went to arrest an alleged drug peddler. Three men were later arrested in the case.

“The officer reached home early next morning and had to prepare the paperwork for the case and hence got delayed. The conduct of the officer in charge of the Karishma Prakash case is far more serious,” the source added.

The probe into Bollywood’s alleged drug links is being led by Mumbai Police zonal unit in charge Sameer Wankhede. When asked till when will the two officers remain suspended, Wankhede refused to comment.

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