Sushant Singh Rajput case: Late actor’s house help moves Bombay high court, seeks compensation of ₹10 lakh for ‘illegal detention’ by NCBUpdated: Oct 20, 2020, 00:19 IST
Dipesh Sawant, the domestic help of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, has moved the Bombay high court (HC), seeking compensation of Rs10 lakh on the grounds that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NBC) had kept him in illegal detention before producing him in front of a metropolitan magistrate. Sawant, 25, has been accused of interacting with peddlers and accepting deliveries of contraband material, allegedly on behalf of Rajput, for the late actor’s consumption.
“There is gross violation of fundamental rights of the petitioner by the NCB officials by not producing the petitioner to the nearest magistrate within 24 hours of taking into custody,” stated Sawant’s petition.
A division bench of justice SS Shinde and justice MS Karnik has posted Sawant’s petition for hearing on November 6.
In the petition filed through advocates Aamir Koradia and Rajendra Rathod, Sawant has stated that the NCB took him in custody from his Chembur residence on September 4, around 10pm. He, however, was produced before a holiday magistrate 36 hours later, on September 6 around 1.30pm.
The petition adds that in the interregnum, one of co-accused in the case, Kaizan Ibrahim, was produced before a magistrate on September 5, and was immediately granted bail by the magistrate.
Sawant, however, was not produced along with Ibrahim, and was instead shown arrested on September 5 at 8pm.
Sawant has alleged that NCB kept him in illegal detention for over 36 hours, which violated the mandate of Article 22 of the Constitution of India. Besides, Sawant has also alleged that the agency intimated his brother Vivek about his arrest only on September 6 at 11.40am, thereby violating the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in the DK Basu judgment, pertaining to the guidelines on detention.
Apart from the allegation of illegal detention and breach if Supreme Court guidelines, 25-year-old Sawant also claimed that all the offences for which he has been charged were bailable, having purportedly involved small quantity of drugs.
However, this ground had been negated by a single judge bench of the HC earlier. While granting bail to Sawant and some others arrested by NCB, the single judge held that all offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, were non-bailable.
Sawant is charged under sections 8(c) with 20(b)(ii) (produce, manufacture, possess, sell, purchase, transport, ware-house, use, consume, import, export of cannabis other than ganja), 23 (import, export or trans-shipment of contraband material), 29 (abetment) and 30 (preparation for offences punishable under sections 15 to 25) of the NDPS Act.