Updated April 4th, 2024 at 15:31 IST

Sushant Singh Rajput Case: Sameer Wankhede Gets Court Relief in NCB Probe

The HC has granted interim relief to Sameer Wankhede, former zonal director, NCB in the drugs investigation related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.

Reported by: Shweta Parande
Bombay High Court grants interim relief to Sameer Wankhede in NCB probe | Image:X
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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has granted interim relief to Sameer Wankhede, former western region zonal director, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the drugs investigation related to the death case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in 2020. The Court on Monday said no coercive steps shall be taken until April 10 against Sameer Wankhede, after the NCB lawyer sought time to seek instructions from its Director General.

This is in connection with the notices issued to the Mumbai cop on the preliminary inquiry set up by NCB against him over irregularities in the drugs probe related to the actor’s death.

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Sushant Singh Rajput died on June 14, 2020. The actor’s death is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

NCB inquiries based on anonymous complaints, says Sameer Wankhede

Sameer Wankhede in his plea claimed that the NCB cannot initiate inquiries based on anonymous complaints it received. Moreover, he claimed that the complaint against him after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death was allegedly lodged by actress Sapna Pabbi. 

Incidentally, Sapna Pabbi was reportedly a wanted accused in the chargesheet filed in the case. 

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“To rely upon the allegations made by a wanted accused is nothing short of outrageous and a desperate attempt by the NCB to legitimise an anonymous complaint manufactured solely for the purpose of injuring the petitioner (Wankhde) in mind, body and repute,” Wankhede reportedly said in his plea.

NCB had issued eight notices to Sameer Wankhede between November 2023 and March 2024, asking him to appear before NCB Deputy Director General Sanjay Singh, who was heading the inquiry then.

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Wankhede challenged the inquiry and the notices issued to him in the Bombay High Court, where he said that the inquiry was an “act of vengeance” and that he was being “targeted”. 

Sameer Wankhede challenges Sanjay Singh’s appointment as head of inquiry

Sameer Wankhede’s counsel Rajiv Chavan reportedly challenged the appointment of Sanjay Singh as head of the inquiry. Wankhede used to take approvals from Singh in the case, who was his superior then. Therefore, he cannot head the inquiry, said Chavan, while emphasising that steps taken by Wankhede in both the cases were after due approval from Singh.

“While probing these cases, including the one related to Sushant Singh Rajput, Wankhede who was at the time the agency’s western region zonal director, used to take approvals from Singh, who was his superior officer. Hence, now Singh cannot head this inquiry,” lawyer Chavan said. 

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Wankhede’s plea was turned down by NCB lawyer Manisha Jagtap, contending that the former zonal director cannot choose and pick which officer would conduct the inquiry against him.

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Published April 1st, 2024 at 22:57 IST