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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Bollywood drugs case: Why Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet and Shraddha Kapoor were summoned

Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh have been summoned by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) over an FIR primarily based on Rhea Chakraborty’s WhatsApp chats purportedly discussing drugs.

Written by Mohamed Thaver , Edited by Explained Desk | Mumbai | September 24, 2020 12:19:16 pm
ndps, ndps act, ndps act 1985, ndps act section 8, ndps act section 20, Bollywood drugs case, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances act 1985, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances act, drug case, rhea chakraborty, sara ali khan, deepika padukone, drug case, drug case bollywood, what is ndps act(From left) Sara Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Rakul Preet Singh and Shraddha Kapoor.

The Narcotics Control Bureau has registered two FIRs as part of its probe that followed the death by suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The first case (FIR 15/20) was on the basis of purported chats of actor Rhea Chakraborty that were retrieved by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that is probing a money laundering case against her. The ED provided these chats to NCB as they claimed that some of the chats were about marijuana.

Two days after this case, the NCB registered another FIR (16/20) suo moto with the express target of “uprooting the drug citadel in Bollywood” and have arrested 19 persons in the case, including Rhea and her brother Showik. So far no arrests have been made in the first FIR registered against Rhea.

sushant singhn rajput death case, deepila padukone, ncb summons deepika paukone, deepika padukone in mumbai, indian express news Actor Deepika Padukone with husband Ranveer Singh and manager Karishma Prakash, at Mumbai airport Thursday. (Express Photo)

Have these actors who have been summoned named accused in any of the two cases?

No, apart from Rhea, who was arrested in the second FIR, no one has been arrested in the first FIR as yet. None of the actors have been named as accused. They have just been summoned on the basis of the chats the NCB found in phones of Chakraborty and Sushant Singh Rajput’s talent manager Jaya Saha, an employee of Kwan talent management company, in addition to some of the names that came up in the statements of those who have been questioned so far.

How did the names of Deepika Padukone, her manager and producer Madhu Mantena crop up?

NCB officials said they have summoned Deepika and her manager Karishma Prakash, another Kwan employee, based on some WhatsApp chats of Jaya Saha. Apart from them, even producer Madhu Mantena, also a Kwan director, was summoned on the basis of Saha’s questioning. Since Saha is named as an accused in the first FIR all of them have been called in connection with this case. Rakul Preet Singh too has been summoned in connection with this context.

Also read | No arrests, seizures in case in which Deepika Padukone summoned

What about Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor?

There are two versions here. While NCB sources said their names had come up during the interrogation of Rhea Chakraborty between September 6–9, before she was placed under arrest, her lawyer Satish Maneshinde has said Chakraborty has not mentioned any names during her interrogation. Sara and Shraddha have been summoned in FIR 16/20 in which Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and 17 others have been arrested.

Special NDPS court extends Rhea Chakraborty's judicial custody till Oct 6 Actress Rhea Chakraborty before her arrest. (PTI Photo)

What kind of action do the actors face?

NCB officials said that they will be questioning the actors based on the statements and chats that they have found in the investigation so far. Based on that they will decide on the future course of action. An official said they have six months to file a chargesheet in the case and they will take their time to decide who to charge in the case and what sections to be applied. While in an FIR all names are not specified, at the time of filing chargesheet, an agency has to specify the role of every accused.

Also in Explained | Police vs judicial custody in the context of Rhea Chakraborty case

When have the actors been summoned?

While Rakul Preet was summoned on September 24, the NCB officials have not been able to locate her and hence the summons has not yet been issued. Deepika and her manager Karishma have been summoned on Friday while Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor have been summoned on Saturday.

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Sushant Singh Rajput videos Actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead on June 14, 2020. (Instagram/Shweta Singh Kirti)

What has this case got to do with the Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide?

After the actor’s death by suicide at his Bandra bungalow on June 14, his family did not give any complaint to the Mumbai Police. Later, they gave a complaint to Bihar Police based on which an FIR was registered against Rhea and her family members among others. The case was then transferred to the CBI.

After Sushant’s father alleged that some of Sushant’s money was transferred to unknown accounts by Rhea, the ED, which investigates money laundering, also registered a case. The ED has however not found anything amiss as yet. The ED while doing a forensic clone of two of Rhea’s phones found some chats allegedly related to marijuana which was then intimated to the Narcotics Control Bureau which registered a case against Chakraborty and five others. Later, the NCB suo moto registered another FIR to go after drug use in Bollywood and arrested 19 persons in that case.

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