For the second time in four days, Sameer Wankhede, the embattled Zonal Director of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) moved the court seeking protection from possible arrest here on Thursday.
Rushing to the Bombay High Court on Thursday, a division bench comprising Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice S.V. Kotwal granted him partial relief after an assurance from the Mumbai Police.
"I am personally attacked by the state... My apprehension is they will arrest me. I want interim protection in the form of no coercive action," Wankhede appealed to the division bench.
Simultaneously, through his lawyer Atul Nanda, he prayed for transferring the alleged extortion and other investigations against him from Maharashtra to any other impartial central agency like the CBI or NIA.
The Mumbai Police's Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai assured that Wankhede would be given three working days' notice before his arrest, after which the court disposed off Wankhede's plea.
Last Monday, Wankhede and the NCB had approached the Special NDPS Court seeking directions not to take cognisance of a 'Panch-Witness' Prabhakar Sail's sensational allegations of extortion and other issues pertaining to the October 2 swoop on a rave party on board a luxury ship.
A day before on Sunday, Wankhede wrote to the Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale asking for help from possible legal action against him.
Nationalist Congress Party Minister Nawab Malik, who has made a serial exposure on Wankhede, said: "It's ironic that the officer who had arrested and jailed all these people for so many days is now running around scared of being arrested himself and approaching the courts for relief..."
Senior Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari, accorded an MoS status, wryly commented that the "NCB-BJP alliance" is now exposed and said those who have fabricated the drugs case should be prepared to face the consequences of their malafide actions.
Currently, the NCB and Mumbai Police are separately probing the allegations of extortion, corruption and other charges against Wankhede by several complainants in various police stations after Sail's affidavit of October 23 erupted in the public domain.
Besides, Malik has accused Wankhede of allegedly using forged documents to grab a reserved category Central government job in the civil services and has demanded a thorough probe.
However, the IRS officer, currently on deputation to the NCB since the past over 12 months, has steadfastly denied all allegations against him.