The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Tuesday arrested actress Rhea Chakraborty in a drugs case related to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Later in the day, her bail plea was rejected by a magistrate court and she was sent to judicial custody till September 22. She is likely to appeal before the sessions court on Wednesday.
Rhea is the tenth person to be arrested in the case, after her brother Showik, Rajput’s former cook Dipesh Sawant and former housekeeper Samuel Miranda, among others.
“Rhea has been arrested and the due process of informing the family has been completed,” NCB Deputy Director (Operations) KPS Malthotra said. The NCB said they placed Rhea under arrest based on WhatsApp chats and the statements of the other accused.
“We arrested her, which means we have enough evidence. Since we have already questioned her in the past few days, we don’t need to interrogate her any more,” said Deputy DG Mutha Ashok Jain.
Seeking judicial custody for Rhea, NCB, in its remand application, said the actor was involved in procuring drugs for Sushant Singh Rajput and both paid for it. This proves she was “an active member of a drug syndicate”, NCB said.
Calling her arrest a “travesty of justice”, Rhea’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde said in a statement: “Three central agencies hounding a single Woman just because she was in love with a drug addict and was suffering from mental health issues for several years under the care of five leading psychiatrists in Mumbai, who ended up committing suicide due to consumption of illegally administered medicines and used drugs.”
The NCB said they had come across chats in a WhatsApp group, that included her brother, Sawant and Miranda, where marijuana was discussed. Miranda had earlier said that he procured weed for Sushant Singh Rajput. The NCB, however, did not clarify if Rhea was arrested for consumption or being part of a group involved in the buying and selling of drugs.
Earlier, Rhea had also said that Rajput regularly took marijuana and she had discouraged him from using it due to his ongoing psychiatric treatment. Rhea’s lawyer Maneshinde had said she never consumed drugs and was ready for a blood test.
Rhea’s arrest comes a day after she had approached the Mumbai police with a complaint against Rajput’s sister Priyanka Singh and a doctor for allegedly getting him psychiatric medication without consultation and using forged paperwork. The Mumbai police on Tuesday registered an FIR in the case.
Chakraborty was earlier questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which that are probing the money laundering and abetment to suicide angles respectively surrounding Rajput’s death. Rajput was found hanging in his apartment in suburban Bandra on June 14.
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