Actor Rhea Chakraborty’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde on Saturday said that the chargesheet filed by the Narcotics Control Bureau in a case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death was a “damp squib”, ANI reported. The central agency is investigating claims of widespread drug use and trafficking in Bollywood.
The nearly 12,000-page chargesheet, which was filed on Friday, named Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik Chakraborty and 31 others. It included the statements of more than 200 witnesses, PTI reported.
“The chargesheet is a damp squib standing on the foundation of inadmissible evidence and statements recorded under section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act,” Maneshinde was quoted as saying by the news agency. “The HC [High Court] has found no prima facie material at the stage of Bail of alleged Financing Drugs Trade. We will have the last laugh.”
Chakraborty’s lawyer claimed that the amount of drugs recovered from those named in the chargesheet was nothing compared to what other agencies seize from one raid. He accused the anti-drugs agency of going after Chakraborty.
“The entire NCB from top to bottom was engaged in unearthing drug angle in Bollywood,” Maneshinde added. “There’s hardly any material against any known faces who were paraded during the investigations, I wonder why? Either the allegations were false or only god knows the truth.”
Chakraborty was arrested in September last year for consuming drugs. She was granted bail on October 7 after a court observed that the she was not part of any drug syndicate and had no criminal record. It said Chakraborty could not have financed or supported illegal drug trafficking as alleged by the narcotics agency. The actor’s brother also got bail in December.
Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai apartment on June 14, in what the police initially said appeared to be a case of suicide. But subsequently Rajput’s family filed a complaint with the Bihar Police accusing his former live-in partner Chakraborty of abetment of suicide. She denied the allegations.
Three central agencies – the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate, the NCB– took up cases against her.
The NCB began investigating the drug angle in Rajput’s death in June. A formal case was registered by the agency on August 26.
At the time of the probe, several substances, electronic gadgets, and Indian as well as foreign currency were seized. NCB’s chargesheet said tests confirmed that the seized substances were narcotics. These included charas, ganja, LSD, ecstasy, and psychotropic substances covered under provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Unidentified officials said the chargesheet detailed how various drugs, including synthetic narcotic substances, were being procured at the highest level and then distributed across Mumbai through multiple channels.
The agency has also said it had submitted other incriminating evidence comprising digital data, call records, WhatsApp chats, location tags, video and voice recordings, and other documents in connection with the case.