NCP leader Nawab Malik is courting legal trouble as the Narcotics Control Bureau, against whom he has made several explosive allegations regarding its probe in the high-profile Mumbai drugs bust case involving Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan‘s son Aryan, is mulling action against him for ‘revealing the identity of a key witness’, sources told CNN-News18.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik on Saturday unleashed fresh ammunition against the NCB in a series of tweets that contained three panchnamas of cases unrelated to the Aryan Khan case and highlighted the name of an alleged independent witness, followed by his picture with NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede and his sister. Malik alleged that the witness was a friend of Wankhede and his family.
Malik said he had presented three different panchnamas where the witness mentioned was a panch. “Question arises, can a friend of an NCB official be allowed to be a Panch? Is it legally allowed?” Malik asked.
However, unfazed by the attack, Wankhede arrived at the NCB Mumbai headquarters after completing a drug seizure operation, and responded to the allegations by saying: “Satyamev Jayate”.
But sources at the NCB reveal that the agency is displeased with the manner in which sensitive details related to previous investigations and its independent witnesses are being made public.
“Whoever is revealing legal court documents of investigation and making it public without being mindful of leaking sensitive details like witnesses, and their address to the public, will face legal action,” said an NCB officer on the condition of anonymity.
“The more they try to suppress us and question our integrity, the stronger and better we will perform. It’s getting personal to a different level as now they are targeting the family of officers,” said the officer.
When contacted, the independent witness named by Malik also slammed him for his tweets, saying that rather than praising officers like Wankhede who were cleaning up the city’s drug menace, he was trying to destroy his image.
Meanwhile, the NCB has issued a clarification on the controversy. An NCB officer said the witness was not being paid by them, and that there was no limit to how many times a person could be a witness during the agency’s operations, according to the NDPS Act.
“It is hard to get a witness on the spot at all times; some operations are dangerous and conducted in the dark of night. Several times there have been skirmishes during raids and our officers have gotten injured,” said the officer.
They said, in such a scenario, it was important that the independent witness does not turn hostile in the court. “Also, a witness has to be honest, fearless as most of the time there are pressures and threats coming their way,” the officer said.