Cordelia drug raid case: Another witness claims he was made to sign blank papers
Another independent witness in the Cordelia cruise drug bust case has approached the special NDPS court seeking to place on record an affidavit which stated that Narcotics Bureau Officials (NCB) officials had threatened him with "dire consequences" if blank sheets were not signed by him.
The witness, Sonu Mhaske, in his affidavit claimed that he was working as facility manager in the building where search and seizure against accused Aachit Kumar was carried out. Kumar is a co-accused of actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in the case.
Mhaske stated that he had been forced to sign under the panchnama of October 5 "under threat of false implication in a criminal case and arrest for non-cooperation".
Besides Mhaske (37), a Dombivli resident, witness Prabhakar Sail through an affidavit had earlier claimed he was asked to sign blank papers. Some other witnesses had also raised questions over the procedure followed by the central agency in the case.
Mhaske, in his plea filed through advocate Ajay Bhise, seeking to place the affidavit on record stated that he had not read the contents of the panchanama, neither were the contents read out by the officers before making him sign the same.
Mhaske was summoned by NCB to record a statement in the case, to which he had expressed inability to attend "due to fear of officers of NCB, Mumbai".
He apprehended that NCB may record his statement against his wishes and at the same time, there was a constant threat of false implication of having a criminal case registered against him if he fails to go to NCB office.
"You do not know, we are police officers and will take you to the lock up and you will not come out for a long time," the NCB officials told Mhaske as per his plea.
The affidavit stated that the officer asked him to bring one more person from the security office to sign papers. After which he and another person locked the security officer and sat there for nearly 40 minutes. However, the security supervisor came to the office and told them that an NCB officer was repeatedly calling them to sign the papers.
Mhaske in his affidavit said that he, along with assistant manager Umesh Ambre, went to the flat where NCB officers along with family members of Kumar were present. The officers wrote their identity details on paper, in which there was some matter written in Hindi.
The affidavit added that after making them sign four papers in Hindi, the officers asked them to sign a few blank papers, to which Mhaske objected. He added that the officers threatened him that he would have to come to the NCB office if he did not sign the papers. Mhaske further claimed that officials made him sign two brown unsealed envelopes which were empty.
"After writing our personal details they asked us to sign the papers. They did not allow us to read what was written in the papers and shouted at me that they can't wait for me to read this as they were already getting very late," Mhaske stated and sought from the court to consider the affidavit so that he is not required to go to the NCB Mumbai office to record any statement.