Opposing bail for Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in the drugs-on-cruise case, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has alleged in a statement to the Bombay High Court that the superstar's manager Pooja Dadlani "appeared to have influenced" a witness.
In its written reply to the High Court submitted yesterday, the NCB also said it believed that given Aryan Khan's "influential position", he could try to tamper with the investigation and derail it.
The anti-drugs agency said it needed more time to follow what it called the "international drug connection of Aryan Khan" revealed in the investigation. "The same is being investigated and as per stipulated guidelines, sufficient time is required to properly unearth this international drug connection," said the NCB.
"Further, considering the influential position Aryan Khan holds in the society, he may tamper with the evidence and influence other witnesses whom he personally knows is very much possible," the agency told the High Court.
The details of the written statement emerged just before the High Court hearing on the bail request of Aryan Khan, who has been in jail since October 8 over drugs-related charges. The star son is among 20 people arrested after NCB officers raided a party on a cruise ship on October 2.
The NCB referred to the sensational allegations of a witness, Prabhakar Sail, who has claimed in an affidavit that Kiran Gosavi, the private investigator whose selfie with Aryan Khan went viral and threw up questions, had planned to demand Rs 25 crore from Shah Rukh Khan's manager Pooja Dadlani to settle the case. Of this, he claims, Rs 8 crore was meant for Sameer Wankhede, the NCB officer leading the investigation.
The NCB said attempts to derail the investigation were "clear" from Prabhakar Sail's affidavit, filed on Saturday,
"Affidavit clearly names one Pooja Dadlani, manager connected to this applicant (Aryan Khan). It so appears that the said lady appears to have influenced such panch witness when the investigation is ongoing, such interference at the stage of investigation is a malafide attempt to ensure that the same is derailed and the quest of truth is obstructed," the anti-drugs agency wrote to the High Court.
The NCB also pointed out that the document was not filed in "any proceeding before any court despite the fact that the matter is subjudice before the sessions court and this court".