ACTOR RHEA Chakraborty has filed a bail application before the sessions court on Wednesday stating the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) contended her to be an “active member of a drug syndicate” based only on the allegation that she purchased a small quantity of drugs for actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who died by suicide on June 14.
Chakraborty’s bail was rejected by the magistrate’s court late on Tuesday after she was arrested by the NCB for charges including financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders under Section 27(A) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The actor, who was kept at the NCB office on Tuesday, was shifted to the Byculla Women’s Jail on Wednesday morning.
Her lawyer, Satish Maneshinde, approached the Mumbai city civil and district sessions court for bail on Wednesday. In the plea, the 28-year-old actor has said the NCB is “silent” and “deliberately vague” on the amount of financing, quantum and type of drugs she is alleged to have procured and financed.
“The case of NCB in layman’s terms is that the applicant (Chakraborty) would coordinate the delivery of drugs for her then boyfriend (Rajput) and occasionally pay for them herself. In essence, her alleged role, if any, is the purchase of a small quantity of drugs for her then boyfriend, which would squarely fall within the ambit of a section which is punishable with a maximum imprisonment of up to one year or with fine or both,” the plea states, adding the charges against her are bailable.
Chakraborty has also sought bail on grounds of parity since three other persons arrested in the case have been granted bail. It adds Section 27(A) of the NDPS Act — pertaining to financing illicit traffic of drugs — is only applied to the actor and her brother Showik “despite there being no seizures from the two”.
An NCB official said Chakraborty’s bail plea will be opposed, adding that at the stage of FIR the agency did not distinguish between individual roles and the sections applied are applicable to all the 10 accused.
“We will be detailing individual roles while filing the complaint (chargesheet) before the court,” the official said. He added as per Section 37 of the NDPS Act there was an embargo against giving bail to an accused in certain sections of the NDPS Act, which includes 27(A).
When questioned how Kaizan Ebrahim, Karn Arora, and Abbas Lakhani, also arrested in the same case, managed to get bail when 27(A) is a non-bailable section, the official said, “It seems there was some error on the part of the court and we may approach the court against their bail.” Arora and Lakhani were granted bail on August 29 while Ebrahim was granted bail on September 5. The NCB, so far, has not approached the court seeking cancellation of their bails.
In her bail plea, Chakraborty has also said that she has been subjected to investigation by three agencies, so far, along with a “substantial media trial”. “All of these proceedings have taken a severe toll on her mental health and well-being. Any further custody would only worsen her condition,” the plea states. It adds further custody amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and a spike in cases in the city, it will be “gravely prejudicial” to her physical health as well.
On the other aspects of her bail, another NCB official said it will only be after an investigation that the agency will be able to determine if the actor should be charged as a drug abuser or as part of a syndicate. “It will then be up to the court to decide. We will specify the individual charges in case of all the accused we name in the case for the court to decide if any accused should be granted immunity post a de-addiction course as per the Act.”
Three other accused in the case, including Showik, Abdel Basit Parihar, and Zaid Vilatra, have also sought bail. Their pleas along with Chakraborty’s will be heard on Thursday.
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