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When Politics Enters the Domain of Criminal Cases

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on November 08, 2021 with No Comments

The high profile Mumbai zonal director of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Sameer Wankhede, who arrested Aryan Khan son of bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan along with his close friends Arbaaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhameecha on October 2 leading to the biggest media trial in India, is now  running from pillar to post himself, and is facing a trial. He has petitioned the Bombay High Court fearing arrest on charges of corruption and mixing up with criminal elements like K P Gosavi. Gosavi is the same man accompanied  by Manish Bhanushali who took a selfie of himself with Aryan Khan being escorted after Aryan Khan’s arrest.  Isn’t it ironical that Gosavi who hold no position in the NCB, was there at the time of arrest and is known a BJP worker and now has been arrested for a cheating case and is summoned to verify the plethora of allegation against Sameer Wankhade?

Even as the TV channels went berserk showing how Shahrukh’s son was being dragged away by the NCB team, allegedly while on way to a ship cruise rave party fuelled with narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, minister in the Maharashtra government Nawab Malik, kept on maintaining that the whole exercise was ‘fake and forged’.  Nawab Malik also exposed the ral identity of Gosavi and Bhanushali after which Gosavi did a disappearing act for several days. A major role in exposing the link between police and the BJP was played by Gosavi’s bodyguard Prabhakar Sail who in a notorised statement alleged an extortion racket by BJP vigilantes in collusion with some NCB senior officials and an amount of Rs 18 crore was to be paid as bribe. And soon a plethora of cases where Sameer Wankhede had played a dubious role in investigations.  In 2011, when the Indian cricket team won the World Cup after a closely contested final at Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium, the team had to make do with a replica of the trophy. The original trophy was stuck at Mumbai airport customs for non-payment of a 35 per cent duty on it. Wankhede had been assistant commissioner at the airport customs at the time.  celebrities such as actors Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor, singer Mika Singh, Minissha Lamba and Anushka Sharma and several cricketers got in trouble with Mumbai customs with Sameer Wankhede playing a leading role as an officer. These expose brought out bollywood  director Anurag Kashyap who shared that when in August 2013, when Sameer Wankhede was working as a Deputy Commissioner for the Service Tax Department, Anurag Kashyap was fined Rs5.5 million for alleged service tax evasion. His bank accounts were also frozen in December after he failed to comply with the department’s summons; and were unfrozen after two years and that too only 15 minutes before he was to appear in the court on the first date of the case. He alleged that he suffered loses at the behest of Sameer Wankhede.

Not to undermine the allegation of bribes, it can’t be ruled out tat the whole episode was an  attempt to divert attention from the seizure by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) of nearly 3000 kilogram of heroin worth Rs 21000 crore – passed off as talc stone powder smuggled from Afghanistan via Bandar Abbas port of Iran – stored at the Adani Ports and SEZ (APSEZ) at Mundra in Gujarat.  

The whole episode serves as a grim reminder that once politics enters the domain of criminal cases, the consequences have to borne by all involved. Those investigating are controlled by their political bosses, and hence their images takes a beating. Aryan Khan being the son of a Bollywood star got caught in the crossfire. Aryan’s lawyers said that he would have got the bail earlier, had the case been heard purely on merit and not got entangled in political allegations. Not to forget that over 70 percent of those lodged in jails in India are undertrials and since can’t afford the battery of lawyers, they continue to remain what they are !

 

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