​​Cruise drug bust bribery case: HC denies interim protection to accused Sam D’Souza

The Bombay High Court on Friday denied interim protection to Sanville, alias Sam D’Souza, in a case related to an alleged demand of Rs 25 crore bribe from actor Shah Rukh Khan for not implicating his son Aryan Khan in the Cordelia cruise drug bust case.

Former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede is one of the accused in the case.

D’Souza, through advocate Pankaj Jadhav, has filed a plea seeking quashing of the case against him. He also sought interim protection from any coercive action, like arrest, until his plea is decided.

However, a vacation bench of Justices Abhay Ahuja and MM Sathaye refused to give any intern protection to the D’Souza.

Earlier, the court granted interim protection to Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Wankhede on an undertaking that he will attend the office of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as and when called and not make any statement about the case in the media.

The CBI recently filed a first information report (FIR) against Wankhede for allegedly seeking Rs 25 crore bribe from Shah Rukh Khan for not framing Aryan Khan in the drugs-on-cruise case.

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The probe agency has booked Wankhede and four others for alleged criminal conspiracy and extortion threat, besides provisions pertaining to bribery under the Prevention of Corruption Act, on a complaint by the NCB.

The agency has alleged that NCB’s Mumbai zone received information in October 2021 related to the consumption and possession of narcotics substances by various individuals on a private cruise ship and some of its officers conspired and obtained undue advantage in the form of bribes from the alleged accused.

Aryan Khan was arrested by the NCB on October 3, 2021, after a raid on the Cordelia cruise ship. He was granted bail by the Bombay High Court after three weeks as the NCB failed to substantiate its charges against him.

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