The Supreme Court on Thursday told the Centre that it cannot file a petition against the Bombay High Court’s observations while granting bail to actor Rhea Chakraborty in the drugs case related to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, Live Law reported.
“We find the new things you do very difficult to understand,” Chief Justice of India SA Bobde told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta while hearing the Centre’s petition, which was filed through the Narcotics Control Bureau. “You cannot file a petition challenging the observations. You can only challenge the order. The observations are prima facie.”
Mehta told the Supreme Court that the Bombay High Court had made certain wide-ranging observations about the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, which made it “unworkable”. according to Live Law.
The solicitor general requested the court to allow him to make changes to the petition. “We will challenge the bail order and also the finding on the NDPS Act,” he said, according to Bar and Bench. The court accepted Mehta’s request and posted the hearing to next March 22.
The Bombay High Court, while granting bail to Chakraborty in October, had dismissed the NCB’s allegation that she financed or supported illegal drug trafficking. “She [Chakraborty] is not part of drug dealers,” the court had noted, according to Live Law. “She has not forwarded the drugs allegedly procured by her to somebody else to earn monetary or other benefits. Since she has no criminal antecedents, there are reasonable grounds for believing that she is not likely to commit any offence while on bail.”
The court had also made certain observations about the scope of Section 27A of the NDPS Act, which relates to punishment for financing drug trafficking and harbouring offenders. The court said that paying money to buy drugs and hiding drug use did not amount to the offences covered under the section.
On March 5, the NCB filed a nearly 12,000-page chargesheet, naming Chakraborty, her brother Showik Chakraborty and 31 others in the drugs case. It also included the statements of more than 200 witnesses. Showik Chakraborty had got bail in December.
Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Bandra on June 14, in what the Mumbai Police said was a case of suicide. On October 3, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences panel, which was in charge of examining his autopsy reports, had ruled out that the actor was murdered and confirmed he died by suicide.
Three central agencies – the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate, the NCB – began investigating cases against Chakraborty, who was Rajput’s partner. The NCB started investigating the drug angle in Rajput’s death in June. A formal case was registered by the agency on August 26.