After CBI, others, NCB comes under public scanner

In the last few years, the functioning of some of the major investigating agencies of the country like the CBI, the ED, the IT department, etc, has come under the public’s scanner. Often accused of being used as a tool by the ruling party to harass opponents, the credibility of these agencies has been hit hard. Now the credibility of another central agency, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), has taken a beating in Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s drug case. The clean chit given to Aryan Khan and five others in the drugs-on-cruise ship case, after months of harassment and relentless hounding, has exposed the loopholes in the functioning of the NCB. The case is an inflection point for the agency as it takes a terrible blow to its credibility and professionalism.

After causing so much trauma and agony to the family of Khan, the drug law enforcement agency now says in its chargesheet in a Mumbai court that there was a lack of sufficient evidence against him and his associates. Aryan Khan was arrested by the NCB on 3 October last year and released from jail later that month after being granted bail. Framing celebrities in controversial cases to earn media spotlight and attention has been a dangerous tendency among a section of officers of the central investigating agencies. In the process, enormous damage is caused to the reputation of the accused persons and their families. The high-profile drug case involving Aryan is the latest example of how some overzealous officers go berserk in targeting celebrities on flimsy grounds. Ultimately, such cases don’t stand the scrutiny of law. The anti-drug agency has suffered an erosion of fair play and ethics.