The Narcotics Control Bureau has charged actor Rhea Chakraborty for allegedly procuring narcotics for actor Sushant Singh Rajput and aiding his “extreme drug addiction”, India Today reported.

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 later investigated claims of widespread drug use and trafficking in Bollywood in relation to the case.

Rajput’s family had filed a complaint with the Bihar Police accusing Chakraborty, his former live-in partner, of abetment of suicide. She denied the allegation.

The Narcotics Control Bureau has invoked 38 charges against 35 accused persons in its draft charges in the case. It alleged that all the accused persons were part of a criminal conspiracy to finance drug trafficking and to procure drugs for Hindi film personalities, The Times of India reported.

The anti-drugs agency alleged that Chakraborty received several deliveries of marijuana from co-accused persons Samuel Miranda, Showik Chakraborty, Dipesh Sawant and others. According to the agency, she paid for these deliveries at the instance of Showik and Rajput.

The Narcotics Control Bureau alleged that Rajput had been regularly receiving drugs through several persons, including his staff members, since 2018, The Indian Express reported. It also alleged that his flatmate Siddharth Pithani procured drugs for the actor through the latter’s bank account, and claimed that it was puja samagri or items used for Hindu religious worship.

The anti-drugs agency added that Agisilaos Demetriades, the brother of actor Arjun Rampal’s partner, procured cocaine from a Nigerian citizen. It also accused him of having procured cannabis from two co-accused persons multiple times and circulating it “in high society and Bollywood”.

The accused persons have been charged under Section 8 (c) read with Sections 20(b)(ii)(A), 22, 27, 27A, 28, 29 and 30 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. These provisions deal with production, sale and transport of narcotic drugs, financing illicit trafficking, harbouring offenders, among other offences.

After draft charges are filed in any case, the court hears arguments on them and determines whether any of them are to be framed or dropped based on prima facie evidence mentioned in the chargesheet against the accused.

Once the court decides to frame charges, the accused persons are then asked to plead guilty or not guilty. In case they plead guilty, a sentence is announced, and if not, a trial commences.