‘Witch-hunt by 3 central agencies’: Rhea Chakraborty to court
Counsel for Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik, advocate Satish Maneshinde, submitted that the drug related case should also have been entrusted to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after the Supreme Court order of August 19 that allowed the Central agency to take over the case.Updated: Sep 24, 2020, 18:52 IST
Actor Rhea Chakraborty, in jail for alleged offence of procuring drugs for her late boyfriend, on Thursday claimed before the Bombay High Court that a “witch hunt” has been unleashed against her by three central investigating agencies. She also argued that the investigation conducted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was illegal as it had no jurisdiction to investigate the drug link to the untimely death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Counsel for the 28-year-old actor and her brother Showik, advocate Satish Maneshinde, submitted that the drug related case should also have been entrusted to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after the Supreme Court order of August 19 that allowed the Central agency to take over the case.
Arguing Rhea and Showik’s bail applications, Maneshinde pointed out that on August 19 the apex court had directed that all cases relating to the death of the late actor should be transferred for investigation to the CBI, and since the drug trail being probed by the NCB was also linked to Rajput’s death, this case should also have been transferred to the said agency.
Maneshinde maintained that the offences attributed by the NCB to Rhea and her brother were bailable, as admittedly those are related to small quantities and stringent provisions of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS), 1985, like section 27A (financing illicit trafficking of drugs or harbours offenders), were not applicable to the case.
Additional solicitor general Anil Singh, who represented the NCB, said they will reply to all the arguments advanced on behalf of the siblings. He, however, sought time to file an affidavit in reply to the bail applications by Rhea and Showik.
Accordingly, justice Sarang Kotwal posted the bail applications for further hearing on September 29, when the court has posted applications of three other accused arrested by the NCB in the same case.
In her application, Rhea has claimed that a witch-hunt has been started against her by engaging three central agencies for investigating cases, but two of those agencies have till date found no evidence against her or her family.
“The applicant states that the respondents (read the Centre) have started a witch-hunt against her by the investigations at the behest of three Central agencies,” stated the bail plea of the actor.
“The CBI and the ED till today have found no evidence against the applicant and her family members. The allegations have made no headway,” it said further, adding that the Narcotics Control Bureau, which is supposed to prevent international illicit trafficking of drugs, has been “brought specifically to somehow implicate her and her family.”
The NCB started investigation into purported drug angle to the untimely death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput - who was found dead at his Bandra flat on June 14 - after WhatsApp chats revealed that ganja was regularly procured for consumption of the deceased actor.
A long trail of drug peddlers and suppliers led to Rhea’s arrest by the anti-drugs agency on September 8. Her brother Showik is also arrested in the case. Both of them have moved the high court after their bail pleas were rejected by a special NDPS court on September 11.