The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Wednesday filed a criminal case against actor Rhea Chakraborty and three of her acquaintances under several sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, claiming proof about consumption of banned substances.
According to officials, the NCB investigation was launched after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alerted them about purported WhatsApp conversations between Chakraborty and others regarding cannabidiol, LSD, MDMA and marijuana.
Director General, NCB, Rakesh Asthana told The Indian Express, “We have launched a formal investigation under the provisions of the NDPS to unearth the nexus of trafficking. We have formed a special investigation team (SIT) under the supervision of Deputy Director (Operations) K P S Malhotra and will probe all possible angles.”
Chakraborty’s advocate Satish Maneshinde denied the charges, saying she had “never consumed drugs in her life” and was willing to take a blood test. “I am surprised that one more agency is getting involved in the case after the CBI and ED,” Maneshinde said.
Sources in the NCB said the three others booked apart from Chakraborty included Samuel Miranda, who has been questioned by the ED in connection with its probe into a money laundering angle in actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.
A source said that they were looking at two WhatsApp conversations, on November 25 last year and April 4 this year. The ED had referred some evidence to the NCB as well as shared it with the CBI.
Sections 20, 22, 27 and 29 of the NDPS Act have been invoked in the NCB complaint. All non-bailable provisions, they entail punishment between one year and 10 years, and deal with violations of the law regarding cannabis and psychotropic substances, consumption of drugs, as well as abetment and criminal conspiracy.
“Before filing a criminal case, the NCB sought legal opinion. They are now sending the SIT from Delhi to Mumbai, where the zonal team will assist them,” an official said.
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