"He was also given third-degree torture and treated badly."
Former Dharma Productions executive producer Kshitij Prasad has claimed that the NCB forced him to falsely implicate Karan Johar.
Kshitij was arrested on September 26, 2020, in relation to the Bollywood drugs case.
Officials raided his home and according to the NCB, Kshitij has links with many drug peddlers including Ankush Arneja. He has been remanded in custody until October 3, 2020.
Kshitij has denied any wrongdoing, claiming that he is being framed.
He has now claimed that the NCB tried to force him to make a statement against Karan Johar and other names from Dharma Productions.
Although the agency has denied the allegations, Kshitij’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde has said that his client was being blackmailed and harassed by NCB officials.
Mr Maneshinde is also representing Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik.
He explained: “Before the proceedings started, I informed the magistrate that Prasad was harassed and blackmailed for the statement.
“He was also given third-degree torture and treated badly.
“Considering the remand application and Prasad’s statement, it’s obvious that the NCB is hell-bent on falsely implicating Karan Johar and some top employees of Dharma Productions.”
Mr Maneshinde went on to talk more about the alleged false case:
“The NCB officers, apart from Sameer Wankhede, were courteous to Kshitij and provided him with a comfortable sleeping arrangement.
“The next morning when his statement recording resumed, Kshitij was categorically informed by Sameer Wankhede in the presence of several other officers, that since he was associated with Dharma Productions, they would let him off if he implicated Karan Johar and some others, falsely alleging that they consumed drugs.
“Kshitij refused to comply with this despite the pressure being mounted on him as he did not know any of these people personally and did not wish to falsely implicate anyone.”
In his statement, Kshitij Prasad told the magistrate:
“I was categorically told by the zonal director of NCB, Sameer Wankhede in the presence of several other officers that since I was associated with Dharma Productions, they would let me off if I take the names of Karan Johar, Somel Mishra, Rakhi, Apoorva, Neeraj or Rahil and say that they consumed drugs.
“I refused to comply with this, as I don’t know any of them personally.
“Irked by my refusal, Wankhede told me that since I was not cooperating, he would teach me a lesson.
“He made me sit on the floor next to his chair and then held up his shoe to my face and said that this was my worth.”
Zonal director Wankhede denied the claims, saying:
“The investigation is being carried out in a professional manner and there is no intended target other than what is revealed during the investigation. The allegations (by Prasad) are absolutely untrue.”
Following Kshitij’s arrest, Karan Johar released a lengthy statement, denying that he knew Kshitij. He also said that neither he nor his company are responsible for the personal conduct of people.
On the raid at his home, Kshitij Prasad said that no marijuana was found. He said that the NCB only found a dry cigarette butt that they said looked like a marijuana joint.