Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik intends to pursue his complaint against Wankhede

IRS officer returns to the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence as extended deputation to the NCB ends

While former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer Sameer Wankhede returned to the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) after his tenure at the NCB ended on December 31, Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik, who has filed a complaint against him with the Directorate General of Vigilance (DGV), the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, demanding a vigilance inquiry into administrative misconduct, said that he will continue pursuing the case.

Mr. Wankhede was loaned to the NCB in September 2020 in the middle of a row over the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput to probe the alleged drug angle in the case. He kept receiving extensions to serve the NCB. His controversial conduct in the arrest of actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan was pointed out by Mr. Malik, which further led to a series of exposés and allegations against the officer.

Among the points raised against Mr. Wankhede were the use of independent witnesses while arresting Mr. Aryan Khan and others; the criminal background of those witnesses; and the repeat of independent witnesses in different alleged drug bust cases.

Mr. Malik also alleged that the officer used a fake caste certificate to secure a job through the reserved category in the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) and that, in reality, he is a Muslim. That case is presently being heard by a caste certificate scrutiny committee.

In his recent complaint letter, Mr. Malik has said that Mr. Wankhede, an IRS officer, holds a permit room/ bar license in his name from October 29, 1997 till date, and that he is operating a hotel and bar named Sadguru Hotel in the Vashi area of Navi Mumbai.

“Is a Central government servant eligible to hold and operate a permit room and bar license in his name?” asked Mr. Malik in his complaint, dated December 15, 2021. The Minister’s complaint says that the license was first approved on October 29, 1997, when Mr. Wankhede was a minor. Mr. Malik’s letter says: “However he has [been] declaring his property in his annual property statements, as an inheritance received on demise of his mother Mrs Zahida Dyandeo Wankhede who expired on 16/04/2015. It is clear from the fact that the declaration made by Wankhede regarding mode of acquiring the property is clearly a false representation to hide true facts.”

Based on the complaint filed by Mr. Malik, the DGV asked him last week to confirm whether the complaint had been sent by him. On January 3, Mr. Malik replied to Vinod Kumar Agrawal, Additional Commissioner, DGV that it was indeed he who had sent the complaint for necessary action.

Mr. Malik said that the Central government had taken the right decision in not extending Mr. Wankhede’s deputation at the NCB. “There were certain powers who were lobbying in Delhi to ensure extension for Mr. Wankhede. It seems the concerned person has backed down. Had he not backed down, I was going to expose that also,” Mr. Malik said.

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