The Bombay High Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on the bail pleas of actor Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty in a drug case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, Live Law reported. Bail pleas of two members of Rajput’s domestic staff, Samuel Miranda and Dileep Sawant, and alleged drug peddler Abdel Basit Parihar were also dismissed.
The Narcotics Control Bureau opposed the bail petitions of Rhea Chakraborty and Showik Chakraborty, arguing that their alleged crime was “worse than murder or culpable homicide”, Bar and Bench reported. The federal drug agency told the Bombay High Court that the case concerns the entire society and is a non-bailable offence.
A single judge bench of Justice Sarang V Kotwal was hearing the bail plea of the actor and her brother, who were arrested earlier this month. The bail pleas by Rhea Chakraborty, Showik Chakraborty, and three others – Miranda, Parihar and Sawant – were rejected by the special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances court on September 11.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the court heard arguments on whether the offences the accused have been charged for were bailable, and if certain provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act were applicable in the case.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the drug agency, told the court that all offences are non-bailable, adding that the stance taken by bail applicants was not correct. “The provisions of bail for NDPS Act has been made more stringent considering the kind of offences which is destroying the structure of the society,” Singh said.
Singh added that while considering the bail pleas, the court will have to keep in mind the backdrop of the Act in terms of the “social condition” and its “legislative intent”. “This is a sort of crime, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, which worse than murder or culpable homicide,” Singh told the court. “Murder affects one person or one family. But this [drug cases] affects the entire society.”
He added that as far as offences under NDPS Act is concerned, the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code will not be applicable in the case.
“We are seeing the trend going on in the country, [among] the college youngsters,” Singh said. “This is a crime, where it should be made non-bailable. Therefore, the legislature has said that the offence will be cognisable. They have not made it bailable.”
On Monday, the Narcotics Control Bureau had submitted an affidavit opposing the bail pleas of Rhea Chakraborty and Showik Chakraborty. The federal agency had said that they had procured drugs not only for their own use but also to supply to Rajput, which was “a more serious offence”, NDTV reported.
“Under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, this is the most serious crime,” the agency’s officer Sameer Wankhede had said. The Narcotics Control Bureau had added that Chakraborty was guilty of “harbouring” drugs for Rajput at her home.
On September 22, a court in Mumbai had extended Chakraborty’s judicial custody till October 6. The Narcotics Control Bureau had said that she was an “active member of a drug syndicate”.
In her bail petition, Chakraborty had said that Rajput “was the only consumer of drugs and used others around him to facilitate his drug habit”. Chakraborty also accused the investigating agencies of targeting her and her brother in a witch-hunt.
Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Bandra on June 14, in what the Mumbai Police said was a case of suicide. The case is already being looked into by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.
Several high-profile actors, including Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan, have also been questioned in the drugs case.