Updated: March 6, 2021 2:16:22 pm
A day after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) filed a chargesheet against 33 people, including actor Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik, in an alleged drug case filed after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput last year, Rhea’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde said it was expected and that the entire amount of “narcotic substances recovered” from the 33 accused is nothing compared to what agencies recover in a single raid.
Hitting out at the NCB, Maneshinde said all its efforts are directed towards Rhea. “The 12000-page charge was expected. All efforts of NCB have been directed towards Rhea Chakraborty to somehow rope her in. The entire amount of “Narcotic Substances“ “recovered” against 33 accused are nothing compared to what even a constable in Mumbai police or narcotics cell or the airport customs or other agencies recover from one raid or trap.”
Rhea’s lawyer also said there was hardly any material against any known faces who were paraded during the NCB investigations. “The entire NCB from top to bottom was engaged in unearthing drug angle in Bollywood… There’s hardly any material against any known faces who were paraded during the investigations, I wonder why. Either the allegations were false or only God knows the truth.”
“The charge sheet is a damp squib standing on the foundation of inadmissible evidence and statements recorded under section 67 of the NDPS Act even after the Supreme Court judgment in Toofan Singh case… Without Rhea Chakraborty being charged, this case has no substance… The HC has found no prima facie material at the stage of bail of the alleged “financing“ drugs trade. We will have the last laugh. Satya Mev Jayate,” he added.
The NCB chargesheet Friday also included Agisilaos Demetriades who is the brother of actor Arjun Rampal’s partner, and Kshitij Prasad, executive producer of Dharmatic Entertainment, a sister concern of Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions.
In its 11,700-page chargesheet filed in a Special NDPS Court, the NCB claimed that a packet of ganja (marijuana) was delivered for Rajput at the Santacruz residence of Rhea in November 2019. And because she took its delivery, facilitated its consumption by Rajput and made payments, that made her an active member of the drug syndicate, it said.
The NCB claimed the drug delivery was made with Rhea’s consent, that she facilitated the use of her house for drug consumption, thereby violating provisions of the NDPS Act. Since Rhea provided funds for the drug purchase, she financed an activity related to illicit drug dealings, the NCB claimed.
In the chargesheet, the NCB has relied on WhatsApp chats, audio notes between the accused, where they are alleged to be discussing purchase, payment and delivery of drugs including ganja and bud for Rajput, subsequent bank transactions, call data records, locations and statements of the accused.
Incidentally, a Supreme Court judgment last October rendered such statements, seen as confessions recorded before an NCB officer, as inadmissible evidence, stating that it cannot be the sole proof to convict an accused.
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