Film actor Rhea Chakraborty was on Wednesday sent to Byculla jail for 14 days after a session court dismissed her bail petition in the drugs case. The actor, caught in the center of controversy after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, wept for a long time with her brother after the session judge rejected her bail petition. While weeping, Rhea alleged that many Bollywood actors were habitual consumers of marijuana and other drugs.
Rhea was arrested after 21 hours of questioning spread over three days by the Narcotics Control Bureau on charge of arranging marijuana for her boyfriend Sushant Singh and also making payment to drug dealers with the help of her brother Showik and other associates.
In its remand application, the NCB described Rhea as “part of an active drug syndicate” connected with drug peddlers. NCB did not ask for her custody and wanted her to be sent to judicial custody. The city court sent her to judicial custody till September 22.
If charges are proved after trial, Rhea faces a jail sentence of a minimum of 10 years and a fine of not less than Rs 1 lakh.
She has been booked under section 8C of the NDPS Act which deals with possession and purchase of narcotics, under 20B(2) for possession, purchase and transporting, under section 27 for financing illicit traffic, under section 28 for an attempt to commit offenses and under section 29 for abetment and criminal conspiracy.
The NCB remand application said, “these deliveries (of marijuana) used to be received by aides of Sushant and every delivery and payment was in conscious knowledge of Rhea Chakraborty and even sometimes payment and choice of drugs were confirmed from Rhea.” Rhea is the tenth person to be arrested after NCB’s probe into drug use involving Sushant Singh Rajput.
The remand application said Rhea’s brother Showik facilitated the delivery of drugs through peddlers Basit Parihar, Kaizan Ibrahim and Zaid Vilatra.
Showik is accused of organizing weed (marijuana) for Sushant between September last year and March this year. The NCB has submitted chat messages between Rhea, Showik and Samuel Miranda which relate to the procurement of drugs.
Rhea’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde termed Rhea’s arrest as ‘travesty of justice’ and alleged that “three central agencies were hounding a single woman just because she was in love with a drug addict who was suffering from mental health issues for several years and was under the care of five psychiatrists in Mumbai”.
Stringent sections used by NCB against Rhea clearly indicate that there are more troubles ahead for her. Rhea, for the first time, has admitted before NCB that she used to occasionally consume drugs, a fact which she had been denying till Monday.
During questioning by NCB officials, Rhea vehemently denied that she was a drug addict and this proved to be her nemesis.
The NCB immediately slapped stringent actions the moment she admitted that she used to take drugs. Earlier, Rhea had been saying that she used to procure drugs for Sushant Singh through her associates. Rhea admitted that she smoked joints once or twice on an experimental basis.
According to NCB officials, the laptop, mobile and tablet seized from Rhea’s residence clearly indicated that she was in touch with drug peddlers since 2017.
Rhea’s tablet revealed pictures of parties where people were seen smoking. This may open a fresh can of worms in Bollywood. According to officials, Rhea’s drug circle was quite active in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and videos and pictures seized from her tablet show several Bollywood personalities at these parties.
NCB may now summon several Bollywood personalities to probe the extent and reach of the drug syndicate. During questioning, Rhea either evaded or remained silent on several key questions, like whether drugs were delivered at her father’s residence, whether she consumed drugs while staying in resorts, and who paid for these drugs.
NCB deputy director-general Mutha Ashok Jain on Tuesday revealed that the bureau is looking towards a bigger angle.
“Normally we look at international and inter-state drug trafficking and usually this (Rhea case) is not our mandate..we look for big fish But now we are getting information and we will not spare anyone whose names are figuring in the investigation”.
Many personalities in Bollywood will now be having sleepless nights after Rhea’s arrest.
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