Refuting the Narcotics Control Bureau (BCN) claim that actor Rhea Chakraborty, along with his brother Showik, “funded” the drug purchases of her late boyfriend and actor Sushant Singh Rajput, his lawyer said on Tuesday Satish Maneshinde at the High Court of Bombay (HC) that “Rajput was not short of funds”.
Chakraborty and his brother were arrested on September 9 in connection with the alleged drug trafficking in Rajput’s death. Judge Sarang Kotwal reserved the order on all claims.
Arguing for their release on bail, Maneshinde said: “The director of Rajput’s house, Samuel Miranda, took care of all the household expenses, and there was no question of Rhea funding the purchase of medicines for the. deceased actor. ”
Responding to NCB’s accusation that Chakraborty was part of a drug syndicate, Maneshinde said the allegations were simply based on a lone incident on March 17, when she gave her credit card to Miranda, who withdrew 10,000 rupees using it and bought contraband for the deceased actor. He argued that no amount was paid directly using Chakraborty’s card to one of the alleged peddlers to procure drugs and therefore cannot be said to be associated with a drug ring.
It is an accepted fact that Rajput used drugs before Chakraborty met him in April 2019, and two of Rajput’s co-stars, Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor, reportedly told NCB he had been using drugs for a long time, he said.
Maneshinde said Showik was also accused of being part of a drug syndicate for allegedly paying insignificant amounts on three occasions in April for purchasing tiny amounts of ganja and charas.
The lawyer added that even if one relied on the allegations made by the NCB, the strict provisions contained in Article 27A of the 1985 Law on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (financing of illicit drug trafficking or accommodation of delinquents) were not at all applicable to Chakraborty. or Showik.
Maneshinde said NCB’s addiction to collecting a commercial quantity of drugs from an Anuj Keshwani, then the claim that Chakraborty and Showik were part of a drug ring cannot be sustained as neither they had no connection with the alleged drug supplier.
NCB further alleged that Chakraborty harbored Rajput who was using drugs. Maneshinde argued that during the relevant period, Chakraborty was residing with Rajput in her home and wondered how she could have accommodated the late actor in her own home.
Lawyer Taraq Sayed, who pleaded for the release on bail of another defendant, Abdel Basit Parihar, argued that the NCB claimed to have dismantled a major drug ring by arresting 18 to 19 students. He claimed that almost all of the defendants arrested by the BCN in this case come from well-off families and cannot be characterized as drug traffickers or suppliers.
Sayed argued that the arrests were made only on the basis of statements recorded under section 67 of the NDPS Act, especially when there had been virtually no recovery of most of the between them. He said that section 67 statements can at most be used to corroborate the recovery of an accused, and not otherwise.
Sayed said Parihar is a final year architecture student and failed his exam because he was arrested by the BCN. He added that although a moralistic argument is being made on behalf of the NCB about how society, especially the younger generation, has been affected by the drug threat, in our country more people are dying from smoking. than drug addiction.
Claiming that all of the alleged transactions involved small amounts of drugs and therefore were subject to bail, Sayed said the five candidates ahead of HC – Chakraborty, Showik, Miranda, Dipesh Sawant and Parihar – were entitled to parole. bail.
In support of his argument that the alleged offenses are eligible for bail, he relied on a 2010 judgment of the Bombay District Court, ruling that all NDPS offenses involving small quantities were liable to a deposit.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who opposed the bail applications on behalf of the NCB, however argued that the applicants mistakenly believed that all violations of the NDPS Act involving a small amount drugs could be the subject of a bond. Singh argued that the NDPS Act nowhere states that certain offenses are subject to bail and asserted that not all offenses under the Act are subject to bail.
Justice Kotwal agreed with his argument. The judge pointed to a 1999 judgment of a constitutional bench of the Supreme Court, observing that not all breaches of the NDPS law were liable to bail and therefore no other court was authorized to adopt a point of different view on the matter.
Singh added that so far 19 people have been arrested by the BCN in this case, and all of them are related and related to each other. Referring to the recovery of the commercial quantity of drugs from Anuj Keshwani, he said that none of them can be separated from others.
“Drug trafficking was a regular business of the drug union,” Singh said. “Showik was in regular contact with the dealers. Sushant Singh Rajput, the drug user, may not be alive today, but those involved in these deals cannot get away with just because he is no longer.
Singh also responded to Maneshinde’s assertion that the NCB lacks jurisdiction to investigate the case given the August 19, 2020 Supreme Court ruling to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over. the cases “on the death of Rajput and the surrounding circumstances.” ”.
Maneshinde had argued that in NCB’s responses to Chakraborty and Showik’s bail applications in the NDPS Special Tribunal, NCB made it clear that this was a fallout from the angle of the drugs in the Rajput case. “This case has nothing to do with the death of Sushant Singh Rajput,” Singh said. “This is not the case with anyone that Sushant Singh Rajput died due to drug addiction.”
The Additional Solicitor General added that the case was related to Rajput only to the extent that he was a drug user, and not otherwise. Furthermore, it is a position established in law that an accused cannot choose the agency to investigate the offenses against him, he said. This argument is not available for Chakraborty that the case should have been referred to the CBI for investigation, he said.
Chakraborty and Showik applied for bail from HC after their bail requests were rejected by the NDPS special tribunal on September 11. The other three defendants approached the court separately after being denied bail by the special court.