Sushant Singh Rajput death: NCB opposes Rhea’s bail plea, says it can investigate drug case

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Updated on Sep 29, 2020 01:36 AM IST
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ByKanchan Chaudhari & Manish Pathak, Mumbai

Replying to the bail application of actor Rhea Chakraborty before the Bombay high court (HC), the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has maintained that it has the jurisdiction to investigate the case against her and several others, including her brother Showik.

Arguing Rhea’s bail plea, her counsel, Satish Maneshinde, had submitted that the drug-related case against the 28-year-old actor should also have been entrusted to the CBI, in terms of the Supreme Court order of August 19, 2020.

Maneshinde claimed that on August 19 the apex court allowed CBI to investigate the case registered at Patna on the basis of complaint lodged by the father of deceased actor, Sushant Singh Rajput. In the same order, Supreme Court has also directed that all cases relating to the death of Rajput should be transferred for investigation to CBI, and since the drug trail being probed by the NCB was also linked to Rajput’s death, the case should also have been transferred to CBI.

The reply filed by NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede stated that there is no such order passed by the apex court. The agency has maintained that the Supreme Court has directed the CBI to take over investigation, if any new case was registered “on the death of Sushant Singh Rajput and the surrounding circumstances of his unnatural death” and the direction “was not with respect to the present case” registered under provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

Relying on the purported recovery of contraband material from one of the alleged suppliers, Anuj Keshwani, NCB has claimed that the case involves commercial quantity of drugs and not the small quantities, as claimed by Rhea, Showik and some other accused arrested by the agency after WhatsApp chats revealed sale and purchase of contraband material, primarily for consumption of Rajput.

NCB has reiterated it’s stand that that Rhea was “an active member of the drug syndicate connected with high society personalities and drug suppliers.” In this regard the reply to her bail plea states that the “Applicant (Rhea) has in her statement (recorded by NCB) revealed about her involvement in procurement of drugs and financing of illicit drug dealings.”

“The present applicant is prominent member of supply chain of drugs and majorly she is handling finance also,” states that affidavit. “The present applicant used to manage, finance for drug procurement along with Sushant Singh Rajput,” NCB has said while opposing Rhea’s bail plea.

NCB to scrutinise, review electronic evidence gathered from actors

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), investigating the drug angle into Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, is now reviewing and scrutinising the electronic evidence it has gathered from all the 20 accused arrested in the case till now.

NCB has also taken mobile phones of actors Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor, Deepika’s manager Karishma Prakash, Sushant Singh Rajput’s former business manager Shruti Modi and talent manager Jaya Saha.

“We will follow the procedure of law. Their mobile phones will be returned to them through the court after we gather data,” said deputy director general of NCB Mutha Ashok Jain. No fresh summons has been issued to anyone in the case for inquiry, added Jain.

NCB, on Monday released, a statement with respect to the allegation of humiliation and torment made by advocate Satish Maneshinde who represents accused Kshitij Ravi Prasad who arrested NCB unit on September 26.

NCB official in their release said, “It is very unambiguously stated that the allegation is mischievous and completely untrue. NCB Mumbai unit arrested Prasad in the alleged drug case (16/20) related to the Sudhar Singh Rajput’s death, after some incriminating evidence were recovered from him, and found his involvement in offence under NDPS act and placed him under arrest following due process of law.”

“Prasad’s lawyer and his mother were informed, and he was even also allowed to meet his father and his wife in Mumbai zonal unit office. Prasad was not cooperating with the investigation, this fact was brought to the notice of court and NCB demanded his custody on September 27 when he was produced in the court through video conferencing after medical check up,” stated NCB’s release

“Prasad was remanded in the NCB custody till October 3 after listening the argument from both sides. The court has observed that no physical ill treatment has been given to Prasad. The NCB reiterates that the allegations are baseless and devoid of any truth,” added NCB’s press release.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022