The NDPS special court in Mumbai on Friday rejected all the six bail petitions filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, their associates Dipesh Sawant, Samuel Miranda, suspected peddlers Abdul Basit and Zaid Vilatra. Judge GB Gurao said that the videos and pictures of Bollywood parties in the tablet seized from Rhea’s residence are yet to be forensically examined and hence judicial custody was necessary. Rhea will now have to spend more time in Byculla jail, till her bail petition is heard in Bombay High Court.
Meanwhile, at the Narcotics Control Bureau headquarters in Delhi, NCB director general Rakesh Asthana had a top-level meeting with his officials to probe the extent and reach of the drug mafia in the film industry. An action plan was chalked out for NCB to go ahead against habitual drug users and purchasers in the film industry.
In the Mumbai special court, the NCB prosecutor had strongly opposed Rhea’s bail plea alleging that she was clearly involved in financing activities, related to illicit drugs trafficking and this was supported by voluntary statements made by her and other accused, WhatsApp chat records, call detail records and information received from laptops and tablets.
The NCB prosecutor told the court, “The applicant (Rhea) was having conscious knowledge about drug consumption by Sushant Singh Rajput and she made herself part of this offence by procuring drugs. She has used her credit card and payment gateways to facilitate the financial transactions related to dealing with illicit drug trafficking.”
The NCB lawyers rejected Rhea’s claims that she was coerced into making self-incriminating confessions, which she has now formally retracted. “The confession was taken legally and is admissible. Retraction is a routine process based on legal advice”, the NCB lawyer told the court. He also told the court that Rhea had admitted that she was staying with Sushant Singh Rajput since April 2019 and was procuring drugs for him through her brother Showik and his associates Basit Parihar, Kaizam Ebrahim and Zaid Vilatra. He said, “financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders” under section 27A of NDPS Act was a non-bailable offence.
In the statement given to NCB by Showik, Rhea’s brother, in which he described in detail how drugs were supplied to him. He told NCB that when he met Sushant Singh for the first time in April last year, he came to know that Sushant used to smoke buds and weed (marijuana) regularly. This was confirmed by his associates Siddharth Pithani and Samuel Hakip. In his statement, Showik admitted that he procured marijuana and hashish for Sushant several times.
In WhatsApp chat with her sister Rhea, Showik discussed the procurement of hashish and marijuana for Sushant. Rhea told him that Sushant smoked marijuana at least four to five times a day. During the chat, Showik assured his sister that he would arrange 5 grams of buds (curated marijuana). He contacted Abdul Basit Parihar and told Rhea and Samuel Miranda about the price. He shared Miranda’s contact number with Basit Parihar. Basit passed it on to Zaid, who delivered the buds to Miranda the next day in Bandra at around 5 pm.
There are reports that Rhea is spending sleepless nights in her 15 feet by 10 feet cell in Byculla jail. Her wait for bail will now stretch longer. In the meantime, the NCB is planning to extend its dragnet to other celebrities in the film industry, seen in photographs and videos from Rhea’s tablets. The investigation into Sushant’s death has surely taken a big turn.
WATCH AAJ KI BAAT:
Aaj Ki Baat: Monday to Friday, 9 PM
India’s Number One and the most followed Super Prime Time News Show ‘Aaj Ki Baat – Rajat Sharma Ke Saath was launched just before the 2014 General Elections. Since its inception, the show is redefining India’s super-prime time and is numerically far ahead of its contemporaries.