A special court on Tuesday granted bail to two men arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with the drugs case following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Actor Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik were also named as accused in the case.
The accused, Ankush Arneja and Suryadeep Malhotra, were arrested in September. The two accused, through lawyer Taraq Sayyed, submitted to the court that the NCB arrested them on the basis of statements of co-accused recorded under Section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Sayyed submitted that after the Supreme Court order last month ruling that statements recorded under Section 67 cannot be admissible as confessional statements, the NCB does not have enough was complete and no purpose will be served by denying bail.
The NCB claimed that Malhotra, a friend of Showik, was arrested on the basis of a statement of a co-accused. The defence submitted that there was no recovery from him. Against Arneja, the NCB said his name had cropped up in the probe for his links with co-accused Anuj Keswani, from whom commercial quantity was alleged to have been seized.
The defence submitted that based on one statement alone, the accused cannot be kept behind bars, and also submitted that WhatsApp chats cannot be the sole evidence to form the basis of the case.
The court has allowed the bail applications of the two accused on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with conditions, including deposition of their passports. This month, in the same case, the court also allowed the bail applications of accused Jai Madhok and Agisilaos Demetriades, stating that, at this juncture, there is only a statement against them as evidence and their custodial interrogation is not necessary. More than 20 people were arrested in the case. The bail applications of others, including Showik, are pending. The Bombay High Court granted bail to Rhea and two others last month.
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