Film producer and a former executive producer of Dharmatic Entertainment, Kshitij Prasad told the Bombay High Court on Sunday that he was forced to “falsely implicate” filmmaker Karan Johar and others by the officers of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
Prasad was arrested in a drugs case linked to the case of Sushant Sigh Rajput’s death.
NDTV quoted his lawyer Satish Maneshinde as telling court, “NCB officers said they would let me off if I implicated either Karan Johar, Somel Mishra , Rakhi, Apoorva, Neeraj or Rahil.”
According to the NDTV report, Prasad also said that he did not wish to implicate any of these people because he did not know them personally, despite pressure.
Prasad is one of the many who have been called in by the NCB to probe the alleged “drug nexus” in Bollywood.
Reports said that Sameer Wankhede, in-charge of the Mumbai unit of the NCB, put his shoe in front of Prasad’s face during questioning and told him that was his “aukat” or status.
The Indian Express quoted Manashinde as saying, “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.”
The report said that NCB’s deputy DG (south west) Mutha Ashok Jain denied the allegations and claimed that the probe was being carried out in a professional manner.
Two days ago, Karan Johar had released a statement on the issue, distancing himself from the allegations. He said he did not consume drugs and did not know Kshitij in person.
Johar had said in his statement, “I would like to further state that several media/news channels have been airing news reports that Kshitij Prasad and Anubhav Chopra are my ‘aides’/’close aides’. I would like to place on record that I don’t know these individuals personally and neither of these two individuals are ‘aides’ or ‘close aides’. Neither I, nor Dharma Productions can be made responsible for what people do in their personal lives. These allegations do not pertain to Dharma Productions.”
He had further said, “Mr Kshitij Ravi Prasad joined Dharmatic Entertainment (sister concern of Dharma Productions) in November 2019 as one of the executive producers on contract basis for a project which eventually did not materialise.”