The way the Cordelia’s cruise drug bust case is making a dramatic turn is an eye-opener for every Indian. Everybody knows how former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer Sameer Wankhede harassed Bollwyood superstar Shah Rukh Khan by arresting his son Aryan Khan in the case. A full media drama followed, and the image of Khan and his family was badly tarnished. Now, in a dramatic turnaround, the CBI is accusing Sameer Wankhede of demanding a bribe of Rs 25 crore from Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s family in the drug bust case.
This exposes a deeper malaise afflicting organisations that are supposed to carry out probes with integrity and fairness. Wankhede, a 2008 batch IRS officer who headed the NCB’s Mumbai zone when the incident happened in October 2021, has now been summoned by the CBI in connection with the charge that he, along with three others, was involved in the extortion attempt and had threatened to implicate Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan.
Framing celebrities in controversial cases to earn media spotlight has been a dangerous tendency among a section of the 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 drugs case involving the Bollywood superstar’s son is yet another example of how some overzealous officers go berserk in targeting celebrities on flimsy grounds. Ultimately, such cases don’t stand the scrutiny of law. After a month of harassment and relentless hounding, Aryan Khan and others were given a clean chit, thereby exposing the loopholes in the NCB’s functioning.