Sameer Wankhede, the former Mumbai Zonal Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau, has shaken the Indian film industry with substantial bribery allegations against Shah Rukh Khan, one of Bollywood’s most recognized figures. At the center of the controversy is the star’s son, Aryan Khan, involved in a high-profile drug case linked to a cruise ship. Wankhede alleges that Shah Rukh Khan attempted to insulate his son from legal implications with a sizable bribe of Rs 25 crore.
Wankhede’s allegations came to the fore as he sought to amend his initial plea. The proposed amendment underlines the need for prosecution of those offering bribes to public servants to procure unlawful advantages. Despite permitting the modification, the Mumbai High Court has underscored that no further alterations would be permitted. Wankhede’s legal counsel, Aabad Ponda, Rizwan Merchant, and Sneha Sanap, championed the plea amendment.
Amid the rising courtroom tension, Wankhede has secured an extension on his interim protection from coercive actions until July 20. This protection was initially granted back in May when he approached the court seeking to nullify the case against him. The high court has scheduled further hearings for July 20, assigning the CBI the task of responding to the revised plea by the same date.
While the legal proceedings take their course, there’s growing disquiet around the allegedly paid media’s portrayal of Aryan Khan, the celebrity progeny at the controversy’s core. Despite his arrest aboard the cruise ship with evidence of drug possession, certain media outlets have embarked on a campaign to project him as a paragon of virtue, a striking divergence from the presented court facts.
Observers note this potential media bias as an alarming instance of influencer culture manipulating public perception, potentially obscuring the truth and enabling well-connected individuals to sidestep justice. They fear this could set a dangerous precedent, undermining the nation’s ongoing crusade against drug abuse and corruption. As the case evolves, it holds the potential to shape India’s battle against narcotics and its commitment to accountability, regardless of one’s social status.