A month after actor Rhea Chakraborty was arrested, the Bombay high court on Wednesday granted her bail in a drug abuse case linked to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case. Rhea was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on September 8 for her alleged involvement in procuring marijuana for Rajput, also her boyfriend.
Rhea’s brother Showik will, however, continue to remain behind bars after his bail plea was rejected. The court also refused to grant bail to Abdel Basit Parihar, a final year student of architecture, who is accused of supplying narcotics to Sushant Singh Rajput, allegedly through Showik.
Justice Kotwal granted bail to Rhea on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and one or two sureties in the same amount. She has, however, been granted time to furnish sureties, paving the way for the immediate release of the 28-year-old actress.
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The high court has directed Rhea to surrender her passport to the investigating officer and not to leave India. She is also restrained from leaving the jurisdiction of the special NDPS court in Mumbai without submitting itinerary to the special court. She will also have to report to the NCB office on the first Monday of every month for the next six months.
After the order was pronounced, additional solicitor general Anil Singh sought a stay on the order for at least one week. “This matter involves a number of questions of law and therefore we want to test this order (before the Supreme Court),” said Singh.
Justice Sarang V Kotwal refused to stay the order. “What do you want to test,” the judge asked Singh. “I have held that all offences under the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act are non-bailable,” the judge added while rejecting the request.
After Singh’s request, HC ordered Rhea to visit the nearest police station everyday for the next ten days, so that she is easily available for re-arrest in case the NCB succeeds in its challenge to the order.
“We are delighted by the order of the Hon’ble Bombay High Court granting bail to Rhea Chakraborty. Truth and Justice have prevailed and ultimately the submissions on facts and law have been accepted by Justice Sarang V Kotwal,” said advocate Satish Maneshinde, who represented Rhea.
“The arrest and custody of Rhea was totally unwarranted and beyond the reach of law. The hounding and witch hunt by three central agencies.. the CBI, ED and NCB, of Rhea should come to an end” said Maneshinde. “We remain committed to Truth. Satya Meva Jayate.”
Justice Kotwal on Wednesday also granted bail to two ex-staffers of Rajput – his house manager Samuel Miranda and Dipesh Sawant, both of whom were also arrested by NCB on similar charges.
Both of them are ordered to be released on personal bonds of Rs 50,000 each and one or two sureties in the same amount. They too are ordered to surrender their passports and not to leave the jurisdiction of the special NDPS court in Mumbai.
NCB had started investigation into the drug angle to Rajput’s suicide after a trail of WhatsApp chats came to the fore revealing sale and purchase of drugs.
Arrested on September 4, Showik was accused of being in regular touch with two drug peddlers, Abdul Basit Parihar and Kaizan Ebrahim, from whom he allegedly procured contraband material for consumption of the deceased actor. Rhea too was accused of procuring drugs and at times paying for the contraband material as well.
The siblings were, however, booked under stringent provisions like sections 8(c) read with 20(b)(ii) (produce, manufacture, possess, sell, purchase, transport, ware-house, use, consume, import, export or tranship cannabis other than ganja), 27A (financing illicit trafficking into drugs and harbouring offenders), 28 (attempt to commit offences under the Act) and 29 (abetment) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.