The issue of frequent statements being issued by the Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik against Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and its Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede has reached the Bombay High Court in the form of a PIL by a Mumbai-resident.
The Petitioner has sought the directions to refrain Malik from making statements against the NCB and Wankhede as it demoralizes the agency and encourages drug abuse among the citizens. It stated that the agency has proved to be most effective under the supervision of Sameer Wankhede in Maharashtra.
The PIL has been filed at the time when controversy over arrests of actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan and his friends in the Cruise Ship Drug case is at its peak and the minister has leveled personnel allegations against Wankhede, who is spearheading the probe. The allegations prompted Wankhede's wife and father to appear before the media to refute it.
The PIL was filed on Tuesday by one Kausar Ali, who claims to be a priest and a person working for the rehabilitation of drug addicts. Ali has urged the High Court to direct Malik not to make any comments against the NCB or any other investigating agency associated with the Aryan Khan's case and officers of such agencies, saying it will demoralise the probe agencies and encourage drug abuse among citizens.
The High Court is yet to assign a date for hearing the PIL. Aryan Khan (23) was arrested on October 3 along with his friend Arbaaz Merchant, fashion model Munmun Dhamecha and some others by the NCB, after it raided a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast and claimed to have seized drugs onboard.
While Aryan Khan and Merchant are now lodged at the Arthur Road prison, Dhamecha is at the Byculla women's prison. A special court for NDPS cases had refused to grant them bail following which they moved the High Court.
Before the High Court, an allegation was raised during the hearing of the bail application that the High Court is giving undue priority to the bail application of Aryan Khan, while many accused are languishing in jail pending the hearing of their bail applications.
Malik has repeatedly termed the cruise drugs case as "fake" and leveled various allegations against Wankhede, including about his caste status. Wankhede has refuted the allegations and denied any wrongdoing.
Incidentally, the son-in-law of Nawab Malik is involved in an NDPS Act case that is being investigated by the NCB, and is currently on bail.
With PTI inputs