A special court in Mumbai has ordered the de-freezing of bank accounts of two accused persons in the drugs case registered after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, The Times of India reported on Monday. The court held that the Narcotics Control Bureau had seized the accounts illegally, according to The Indian Express.
The special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances court on January 4 ordered the accounts of accused persons Jai Madhok and Zaid Vilatra to be released.
Madhok argued that the investigating officer did not inform a magistrate about the seizure of his accounts in two banks, as was required under Section 102 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The court accepted the contention.
“In absence of such report, the said act of the investigating officer is held to be illegal,” Additional Sessions Judge DB Mane said, according to The Indian Express. “Though the learned SPP [special public prosecutor] filed the reply, the said reply is silent on the point of compliance of sub-section 3 of Section 102 of the CrPC.”
The court directed Madhok to submit an affidavit stating that he will balance amount in his accounts available to the court during the pendency of the case. It told the Narcotics Control Bureau to issue letters to the concerned banks to de-freeze his accounts.
The court passed a similar order with respect to Vilatra.
Earlier, Madhok had told the court that the anti-drugs agency had not said the bank accounts had any proceeds of the alleged crime. The agency, however, opposed the petition and said that the investigation was ongoing.
On October 26, the court had also ruled in favour of a petition by actor Rhea Chakraborty seeking the de-freezing of her bank accounts in the same case. The court had observed that there was “no strong objection” from the Narcotics Control Bureau to Chakraborty’s request.
The judge had also allowed Chakraborty to reclaim her phone and laptop, subjecting to her executing an indemnity bond of Rs 1 lakh.
Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai apartment on June 14, 2020, in what the police initially said appeared to be a case of suicide. However, the anti-drugs agency is investigating claims of widespread drug use and trafficking in Bollywood in relation with the case.
The Narcotics Control Bureau filed a chargesheet in the matter in March. Chakraborty, Vilatra and Madhok have been named in the chargesheet, along with several others.