'Don't Publish Chats with SRK': Court Slams Sameer Wankhede, Extends Protection

The court also ordered Sameer Wankhede to not make any press statements on the Aryan Khan drugs case.

2 min read
Hindi Female

The Bombay High Court (HC) on Monday, 22 May, extended protection from arrest to former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer Sameer Wankhede in the case against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for allegedly attempting to extort Rs 25 crore from Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan and families of others arrested with Aryan Khan in the 2021 drugs-on-cruise case.

The HC granted him protection on the condition that he cannot disclose chats with Shah Rukh Khan as the matter concerning other accused in the case is sub judice.

Aryan Khan was given a clean chit in the drugs case by the NCB in May last year.

The court extended its 19 may order and asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to not take coercive action against Wankhede and ordered him to not make any press statements.


Why Sameer Wankhede approached HC: Wankhede had approached the Bombay HC after the CBI challenging an FIR that accused him and five others of demanding Rs 25 crore bribe from Shah Rukh Khan and the family members of all those accused in the 2021 Codelia Cruise ship drugs case.

After the FIR, Wankhede moved a petition citing WhatsApp conversations between him and Shah Rukh Khan in which the latter requested the officer to "show empathy to his son."


Key arguments from the hearing:

  • Advocate Aabad Ponda representing for Wankhede argued that the enquiry against Wankhede was illegal as there was no sanction under section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) before the enquiry was initiated. The section pertains to seeking prior approval from the state government for conducting an enquiry or investigation against a public servant.

  • Ponda argued that Ponda argued that approval under section 17A was sought only on 11 May 2023 and material collected before that is illegal.

  • Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Kuldeep Patil representing the CBI argued that the messages by Shah Rukh Khan, which are from the time when Wankhede was leading the probe against Aryan Khan and others, were being used as a "character certificate" by Wankhede.

  • SPP Manish Jagtap representing the NCB argued that the enquiry was not being conducted under the PCA and hence section 17A cannot be cited.


Quick overview of the Aryan Khan case:

  • Wankhede's team had led raids on the Cordelia Cruise on 2 October 2021, in which the NCB claimed to have recovered banned substances from Aryan Khan and his friends Arbaaz Merchantt and Mummun Damecha. The NCB had arrested 17 people.

  • The case was transferred to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the NCB following extortion allegations.

  • Aryan Khan, Merchantt, and Damecha were granted bail on 28 October 2021 citing lack of evidence.

  • The NCB on 27 May 2022 gave a clean chit to Aryan Khan in the case, saying that all other accused except him were found in possession of drugs.

(With inputs from

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