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Sameer Wankhede challenges Cancellation of Bar License and FIR in Bombay High Court

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Sameer Wankhede Law Insider

Munmun Kaur

Published On: February 22, 2022 at 16:35 IST

Sameer Wankhede, former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director on February 21 filed two Petitions in the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him by Thane Police for obtaining a liquor license for a hotel by alleged forgery and the other one for restoring the said canceled license.

Wankhede in his Petition claimed that the action against him was a vindictive one, stemming from the personal vendetta of State Cabinet Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik, against Wankhede. Apparently, he had Arrested Nawab Malik’s son-in-law in a drugs Case when he was heading the Mumbai Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) unit.

Earlier this month, the FL III License (bar license) of Wankhede’s Hotel Sadguru was canceled by Thane collector Rajesh Narvekar on the grounds that Wankhede procured the license when he was a minor i.e. below 18 years of age. Later, Wankhede Appealed to the Commissioner of State Excise who orally refused to stay the Order.

The Petition for Quashing of the FIR is listed for tomorrow before the Bench led by Justice SS Shinde whereas the Petition challenging the Commissioner of State Excise’s oral Order is listed before the Bench led by Justice GS Patel.

In the Quashing Petition, Wankhede submitted that he was a minor at the time of the alleged Offence by his mother. He merely signed the documents which his mother asked him to.

Further, the Law of the land does not acknowledge that a minor had the capacity in order to orchestrate the entire crime at hand. He further invoked the Juvenile Justice Act stating that an Offence, if any, should be heard by the Juvenile Justice Board.

In his Civil Petition seeking restoration of the canceled license, Wankhede said that he cannot be blamed for not disclosing his age as the rules in India do not specify the age for the grant of liquor license. In addition to that, the Collector’s action of cancellation of license in 2022 after 24 years was hopelessly barred by limitation.