Bombay High Court: Sushant Rajput drugs case: No coercive action against Wankhede till April 10 [1.4.2024]

The Bombay High Court on Monday said no coercive steps shall be taken against IRS officer Sameer Wankhede till April 10 on notices issued to him on the NCB's preliminary inquiry over irregularities in a drugs case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) initiated the preliminary inquiry against Wankhede in connection with the drugs case pertaining to Rajput's death and another case of arrest of a Nigerian national for drugs possession, probed by Wankhede, after it received anonymous complaints of irregularities during the investigation into them.

After Rajput allegedly committed suicide at his residence in Mumbai in June 2020, the NCB initiated a probe of alleged drug use in the film industry.

The agency later lodged a case of alleged possession, consumption and financing of drugs against Rajput's girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and 33 others.

From November 2023 to March 2024, the NCB issued eight notices to Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Wankhede, directing him to appear before the agency's Deputy Director General Sanjay Singh, who is heading the preliminary inquiry.

Wankhede filed a petition in the HC last week challenging the inquiry and the notices issued to him, claiming he was being targeted and the inquiry was an "act of vengeance".

A division bench headed by Justice Revati Mohite Dere on Monday directed the NCB to respond to the plea by April 10.

02 Apr 2024