Former Mumbai NCB chief Sameer Wankhede was questioned for more than five hours on the second day in a row on Sunday by CBI probing the alleged Rs 25 crore bribe demand from actor Shah Rukh Khan for not implicating his son Aryan in the Cordelia cruise ‘drug bust’ case, an official said.
Wankhede, an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, reached the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) office in the Bandra-Kurla Complex at around 10.30 am, he said.
While entering the office, Wankhede told reporters he has “faith in the judiciary”.
He was allowed a lunch break during questioning, the official said, adding Wankhede left the CBI office for the day at around 4.30 pm.
Wankhede didn’t respond to queries from media persons waiting outside the CBI office but only said, Satyamev Jayate (truth only triumphs).
On Saturday also, the CBI questioned Wankhede for more than five hours.
After he left the CBI office at around 4.30 pm on Saturday, Wankhede along with his family members visited the Siddhivinayak temple at Prabhadevi in Mumbai.
The central agency booked Wankhede and four others on May 11 for alleged criminal conspiracy and threat of extortion, besides provisions pertaining to bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
On Friday, Wankhede got a relief from the Bombay High Court which directed the CBI not to take any “coercive action”, such as arrest, against him till May 22.
Seeking quashing of the FIR, Wankhede alleged before the HC that the “draft complaint” in the 2021 drugs-on-cruise case named Aryan Khan as an accused, but it was later replaced and Aryan’s name was dropped.
Aryan Khan was arrested by the NCB on October 3, 2021, following the alleged drug seizure on board the Cordelia cruise ship here. He was granted bail by the high court three weeks later as the anti-drugs agency failed to substantiate its charges against him.
The CBI alleged that the NCB’s Mumbai zone received information in October 2021 regarding the consumption and possession of narcotic substances by various individuals on the cruise ship, and some NCB officers conspired to get bribes from the accused in return for letting them off.
Wankhede had denied allegations against him. His petition in the HC provided transcriptions of phone chats with Shah Rukh Khan during the period Aryan was in NCB custody. It cited Khan as pleading with Wankhede to be kind to his son and praising the officer for his “uprightness”.
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