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FPJ Edit: Allegations of conspiracy, extortion and bribery in the Aryan Khan case by an NCB witness are too serious to brush under the carpet

02:30 AM Oct 26, 2021 | FPJ Editorial

The murky details in the Aryan Khan case that point to frame-up, extortion and bribery should be a wake-up call for the entire country. India is too mature a democracy to tolerate such morbid distortions of the rule of law. While the principle that the law has to take its own course irrespective of the person’s stature, caste and religion is inviolable, even the whiff of a conspiracy and a frame-up is a debilitating assault on civilised society. Politics and power games cannot be allowed to undermine the fundamental values of our republic; injustice against a single innocent, no matter whether he is the son of a mega cinestar Shah Rukh Khan or not, is condemnable.

In ideal circumstances, the Prime Minister would have been terribly worried about the sinister operations and the national outcry would have entailed serious measures to ensure that law enforcement agencies didn’t misuse their power to harass citizens. But over the past few years we have seen a trend of Central agencies selectively targeting political rivals and critics of the regime.

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There have been too many unseemly incidents to be ignored. Even young boys and girls have faced sedition charges and the draconian UAPA. Courts have expressed concerns about shoddy investigations and let off the accused for want of substantial evidence to back the charges. Reports have suggested this bias in police action in the investigation of recent Delhi riots as well.

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Irrespective of which political party is in power, such blatant misuse of instruments of law will destroy the nation. Nobody can build a case for a vindictive system which works on partisan considerations. Worse, a system that indulges in coercion, extortion and blackmail. Whether Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan has committed a crime or not is a matter of investigation and the courts will decide on the veracity of charges. But the process seems vitiated.

Allegations of conspiracy, extortion and bribery by a witness of the Narcotics Control Bureau are too serious to be brushed under the carpet. A state minister casting doubts on the investigating officer and providing evidence that raises questions about fair play cannot be ignored. Over all, the hue and cry over consumers of drugs and the mysterious silence over the seizure of the biggest-ever narcotics haul in Gujarat would raise eyebrows. India is not a banana republic and one expects the custodians of law to conduct themselves with greater responsibility. Hope India wakes up and takes note.

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