Sushant Singh Rajput case: Showik Chakraborty’s bail plea rejected as he may alert others involved, says NDPS court
The special court under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, while rejecting bail plea of Showik Chakraborty, brother of actor Rhea Chakraborty, observed that he has revealed names of several other people, and if released on bail, the accused may alert them.
The special court on Monday released the detailed order on bail plea of Showik. While rejecting the plea, the court observed, “According to the prosecution, the accused have taken the names of other persons. The investigation in respect of those persons is in progress. If the accused is released on bail then he will alert those persons and they will destroy the evidence. There is a possibility of tampering of the evidence.”
The siblings have reportedly mentioned names of several Bollywood celebrities who either have worked with Sushant Singh Rajput or were involved in consuming narcotic substances. The agency has also claimed that the siblings might have had arranged drugs for them too along with Rajput.
The agency has booked the two under section 27A of the NDPS Act which provides for punishment for financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders. Their lawyer had claimed that the charges are not applicable on the two and at the most, they can be booked for the consumption of narcotic substances. Further, the two had alleged that no narcotic substance was recovered from them.
The court, however, rejected their contentions and observed, “From the record, it is seen that the accused Rhea and late Sushant Singh Rajput were in a live-in relationship. Showik allegedly procured drugs from accused Zaid Vilatra and Abdel Basit, for Sushant Singh Rajput on the instructions of accused Rhea. NCB has recovered WhatsApp chats and other electronic evidence.
Further in the present case commercial quantity of contraband i.e LSD is recovered from accused Anuj Keshwani. Hence, at this stage from the available record, it cannot be said that there are no reasonable grounds to connect the accused with the alleged crime.
Further the court while rejecting the bail pleas referred the provisions of Section 37 of the NDPS Act which provides for the conditions for granting bail to an accused booked under section 19 (Punishment for embezzlement of opium by cultivator) or Section 24 (Punishment for external dealings in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances in contravention of section 12) or section 27A of NDPS Act.
While citing the provisions of Section 37, the court noted that ‘there are stringent provisions of bail under section 37 of the NDPS Act. As per subsection (2) of section 37 of the NDPS Act, no person accused of an offence punishable for an offence under section 19, 24, or 27A and also for an offence involving commercial quantity shall be released on bail or on his personal bond unless the public prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release and where the public prosecutor opposed the application, the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that he is not guilty of such offence and that he is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.’
Further, the court said, “In all these sections legislature has not described any specific quantity of the drug. In view of rigour (SIC) of section 37 of NDPS Act, the court has to record the finding that there are reasonable grounds to believe that accused is not guilty of an offence. It is also to be kept in mind that the court has not to consider the material as if it is pronounced that the judgment of acquittal or recording finding of not guilty.”
The court further held that “as discussed above considering the allegations against the accused there is a bar to release the accused on bail under section 37 of NDPS Act. The investigation is at a preliminary stage and if the accused is released on bail then he will tamper the prosecution evidence.”
Meanwhile, the special court in its order refused to consider the allegations of Rhea’s lawyer claiming that her statement was recorded forcibly and no lady officer was present at the time when she was being interrogated. “Admittedly, the statement of the accused was recorded on September 6, 7 and 8, 2020. The prosecution revealed the role of the accused based on said statement, and thereafter she was arrested in the crime. Therefore, at this stage, when the investigation is at a preliminary stage, it cannot be said that statement of accused was forcefully recorded and inadmissible in evidence,” reads the order of the special court rejecting bail plea of Rhea.