NCB Asked Kshitij to Implicate Karan Johar in Drugs Case: Lawyer
Kshitij Prasad has been arrested by the NCB in an alleged drugs probe.
Rhea Chakraborty's lawyer Satish Maneshinde has claimed that Kshitij Prasad, a former employee of Dharmatic Entertainment, had been forced by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to implicate Karan Johar and other executives of the film production company in a case of alleged consumption of drugs. Prasad had been arrested by the NCB in connection to a drugs probe that surfaced after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.
Maneshinde said in a statement that before Kshitij Prasad was produced before the Ld Addl Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for remand on Sunday (27 September), he had informed the magistrate that Prasad "was harassed and blackmailed to make a statement apart from third degree and ill treatment".
The lawyer claimed that the NCB had found nothing after conducting a search in Prasad's house except a cigarette butt. However, the probe agency insisted that it was a 'ganja joint' and drew up a panchnama despite Prasad's protests, Maneshinde said.
Maneshinde added that Prasad had told the court that his statement had been recorded by Sameer Wankhede, in-charge of the Mumbai unit of the NCB, 'wherein various patently false claims were inserted despite his (Prasad’s) protests', and the statement was not recorded as per his narration.
Maneshinde claimed that Prasad was not told whether he was being placed under arrest, nor was he permitted to speak to his lawyer. He was, however, told that he would have to stay the night at the NCB office on Friday (25 September) as his statement was yet to be completed.
“The NCB officers apart from Sameer Wankhede were courteous to Kshitij and provided him with a comfortable sleeping arrangement. The next morning when his statement recording resumed, Kshitij was categorically informed by Sameer Wankhede in the presence of several other officers, that since he was associated with Dharma Productions, they would let him off if he implicated Karan Johar and some others, falsely alleging that they consumed drugs. Kshitij refused to comply with this despite the pressure being mounted on him as he did not know any of these people personally and did not wish to falsely implicate anyone,” Maneshinde said.
The lawyer also claimed that after nearly 50 hours of interrogation Prasad, 'desperate to speak to his family and lawyer', signed the statement 'unwillingly and under threats'.
The NCB, however, has denied all these allegations. Speaking exclusively to The Quint NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede said, "NCB is a very professional agency. The complete allegation is false because prior to being produced before the honourable magistrate, he (Kshitij Prasad) was tested medically twice. Everything was absolutely normal and no kind of third degree, torture and abuse or any of the other words used by the lawyer (Satish Maneshinde) was unfounded. In fact, Prasad was produced before the honourable magistrate where he did not complain about any of these things. This is a baseless allegation levelled by Satish Maneshinde to derail the investigation".
The CBI, which is also investigating Sushant Singh Rajput's death, issued a statement saying the probe is being conducted in a 'professional' manner. "The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting professional investigation related to death of Sushant Singh Rajput in which all aspects are being looked at and no aspect has been ruled out as of date. Investigation is continuing", the statement read.
Prasad has been remanded in NCB custody till 3 October.
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