Actor Rhea Chakraborty moved a bail plea in a Mumbai court on Wednesday, hours after she was shifted to the city’s Byculla Jail, PTI reported. Chakraborty has been arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau for allegedly procuring drugs for deceased actor Sushant Singh Rajput. A Mumbai court on Tuesday night sent Chakraborty to judicial custody till September 22.
This is the second bail plea that the 28-year-old actor has filed, after the court rejected her first one. “She has not committed any crime whatsoever and has been falsely implicated in the case,” the plea said. The court will hear the bail application on Thursday.
Chakraborty is the eighth person to be arrested in the drug-related investigation into Rajput’s death. She has been held under various charges outlined by the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, which could lead to up to 10 years in prison.
Her brother Showik Chakraborty and Rajput’s former domestic staffer Samuel Miranda were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau last week.
The actor was first taken for medical testing before being produced in front of a magistrate via video-conferencing for remand on Tuesday evening. She had applied for bail but her plea was rejected.
Rhea Chakraborty’s arrest came after the NCB interrogated her for three consecutive days about her relations with Rajput and his alleged drug use. The Narcotics Control Bureau said in its court documents that she was “an active member of the drug syndicate connected with drug supplies” and knew of “every delivery and payment”.
“It is also clear from the statement that Rhea Chakraborty used to procure drugs for Sushant Singh Rajput for consumption purpose,” the agency said. She used to “manage finance for drug procurement along with Sushant Singh Rajput”, the document added.
Satish Maneshinde, Rhea Chakraborty’s lawyer, called her arrest a “travesty of justice”. “Three central agencies 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 committed suicide due to consumption of illegally administered medicines, drugs,” Maneshinde claimed in a statement.
Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Bandra on June 14, in what the Mumbai Police said was a case of suicide. The Narcotics Control Bureau is the latest agency to be drawn into the case involving the death of the 34-year-old actor, which is already being looked into by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate. Rhea Chakraborty is the key accused in the case.
The actor has given interviews to multiple TV news channels before her arrest, where she has refuted allegations against her.
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Bihar government welcomes arrest
The ruling National Democratic Alliance in Bihar said Rhea Chakraborty’s arrest was an “important step” towards securing justice for Rajput, PTI reported. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he hoped the subsequent investigation would “wipe Bollywood clean of many ills that plague the Hindi film industry”.
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nikhil Anand also welcomed the actor’s arrest, saying that parallel investigations led by the Enforcement Directorate “seem to have opened a can of worms”. He expressed confidence that the CBI will “ultimately crack the case and ensure justice” for Rajput.
The BJP leader further lambasted Rhea Chakraborty for filing an FIR against Rajput’s sisters, accusing them of abetment of suicide. “Rhea Chakraborty has exposed herself by doing this,” he claimed. “The development flies in the face of her professed love for the actor, whose father had levelled serious allegations against the actress in the FIR he had lodged at Patna.”
The Patna Police had registered a case based on a complaint by Rajput’s father KK Singh, accusing Rhea Chakraborty of manipulation, cheating and abetment of suicide. This had become a flashpoint between the NDA and the Maharashtra government, with the latter arguing that because Rajput died in Mumbai, the Patna Police had no jurisdiction in the matter. Days later, the FIR was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation, following the recommendation of the Bihar government.
BJP’s Anand also criticised Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut for supporting Rhea Chakraborty. “In the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna, Raut had been coming out in support of Chakraborty and making appalling observations about the bereaved family of Rajput,” he said. “This shows that the Shiv Sena did not want that the truth be out in the case, for reasons it knows better.”
Janata Dal (United) spokesperson Ranjan Prasad, meanwhile, said the CBI inquiry had “virtually exposed the dark underbelly of Bollywood, including the close links between narcotics traders and celebrities”.
Prasad added that Rhea Chakraborty’s FIR accusing Rajput’s sisters of administering narcotics to him was ample proof that “she is rattled by the CBI inquiry and the consequences it may have for her given her suspected complicity”.
Besides JD(U) and the BJP, the Lok Janshakti Party of the NDA also hailed the actor’s arrest. Party president Chirag Paswan, who was among the first politicians in Bihar to demand a CBI probe into the death of Rajput, tweeted: “The NCB today arrested Rhea Chakraborty in a narcotics matter. This development would silence all those who had been standing in her support”.
Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey said that Rhea Chakraborty’s arrest proves that she has “some links with drug peddlers and that she is not without blemishes”. “Moreover, the Mumbai police carried out its investigation in a manner that could not inspire faith and when we tried to probe the matter hurdles were put in our way,” he added. “I am now confident that the mystery surrounding the death of Sushant will be unfolded and truth will come out.”