Amidst NCB Raid on Mumbai Cruise, a Re-Look at Rhea Chakraborty's Case
With the NCB currently involved in the Mumbai cruise case, we take a look at the status of Rhea Chakraborty's case.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) is making headlines after the crackdown on a cruise party in Mumbai. So far, 20 people have been arrested in this case, including superstar Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan. With each passing day, new revelations are taking place. Sometimes WhatsApp chats of those who are charged are leaked, and sometimes workers of some political party and fugitives have turned witness in the case.
However, this is not the first instance in which Bollywood celebrities have been found involved in alleged drugs rackets. Before the cruise party case, the NCB had summoned many Bollywood stars for questioning. The most talked-about case in recent times is that of actor Rhea Chakraborty.
Rhea had to spend almost a month behind bars in connection to an alleged drug case. The actor and her brother Showik Chakraborty were under the NCB lens following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Let's take a look at where Rhea's case stands:
What Were The Allegations Against Rhea?
The NCB, in its chargesheet, had stated that Rhea was a part of a big drug syndicate. It was alleged that Rhea, along with her brother, would provide drugs to late Sushant Singh Rajput. Rhea was charged with Sections under the NDPS Act for allegedly dealing with drug peddlers, buying drugs from them in commercial quantity and encouraging others to consume drugs.
The chargesheet further stated that there was strong evidence against Rhea. The NCB claimed that WhatsApp chats pointing to purchase of drugs, use of credit cards and payment gateways to buy drugs were recovered and confessional statements were made regarding the same. Based on this, the accused did not get bail as they were charged with involvement in the smuggling of drugs (Section 27A) and the purchase, sale and use of prohibited substances under the NDPS Act 1985 (Section 37). However, during this entire investigation, the NCB did not recover any drugs from Rhea.
How Did Rhea Get Involved in The Drugs Case?
Sushant Singh Rajput's family first raised doubts on Rhea since she was the actor's partner at the time. One of Sushant's sisters and father even filed a case against her in Bihar. The drugs angle came to the fore following Sushant's post-mortem. Rhea was mentioned in the statements of the late actor's househelp and other friends.
Rhea was then summoned by the NCB for questioning. She was interrogated at the NCB office in Mumbai on 6, 7 and 8 September last year. The NCB had claimed that Rhea, in her statement, confessed to buying drugs for Sushant and handling the finances for him. Rhea was arrested on the allegations that she was a part of a big drugs syndicate. She was sent to Byculla jail for almost a month.
Statements of other accused Samuel Miranda, Dipesh Sawant, Abdul Basit Parihar, Zaid and Kaizan reportedly pointed that Riya had ordered marijuana for Sushant on 16 March 2020 via a message. Sushant had paid money for the marijuana with his credit card, the statements noted. Ten thousand rupees were reportedly paid for 5 grams of marijuana. That was how the NCB revealed Rhea's drug connection.
How Did Rhea Get Bail?
Rhea's lawyer, Advocate Satish Maneshinde, had filed a bail application in the Bombay High Court. Maneshinde had argued in the plea that Rhea was wrongly accused and arrested. He also stated that the NCB had made allegations of drug smuggling according to Section 27A, but the evidence presented was not solid.
Maneshinde had said that no banned substances were recovered from Rhea and the statements of the other accused cannot be made a ground for arrest. The lawyer argued that arresting his client without any notice, despite the person cooperating with the agency and appearing for interrogations, is a violation of her fundamental rights. After listening to the arguments, the Bombay High Court granted bail to Rhea on 7 October, 2020.
What is The Status of Rhea's Case?
On 18 March this year, the NCB had approached the Supreme Court against the observations of the Bombay High Court regarding Rhea's bail. However, the Supreme Court had noted that the bail petition cannot be challenged on the basis of mere observation. The Chief Justice made it clear that the bail application needs to be challenged. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought time to amend the petition.
Even after seven months, there has been no big development in the case. Charges were imposed against 33 people, including Rhea, Showik, Sushant's househelp and several drug peddlers in a 12-thousand-page chargesheet. However, in the case that caught the attention of the whole country, most of the people are now out on bail.
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