"Don't Agree Celebs Should Be Treated Harshly: Court On Rhea Chakraborty

While granting bail to Rhea Chakraborty, the Bombai High Court all but demolished the Narcotics Control Bureau's case against the 28-year-old actor, accused by them of being "an active member of a drug syndicate".

Rhea Chakraborty was arrested in drugs case last month.

Highlights

  • Judge disagreed celebrities, role models should be treated harshly
  • "Everybody is equal before law," the court said
  • No basis for NCB's worry Ms Chakraborty can destroy evidence: Court
Mumbai/ New Delhi: Actor Rhea Chakraborty was granted bail today after nearly a month in jail over drugs charges related to the Sushant Singh Rajput investigation. Her brother Showik was denied the reprieve. They were both arrested in early September on allegations of arranging drugs for Sushant Singh Rajput, a 34-year-old movie star who was found dead in his Mumbai home on June 14. While granting bail to Rhea Chakraborty, the Bombay High Court all but demolished the Narcotics Control Bureau's case against the 28-year-old actor, who was accused of being "an active member of a drug syndicate". The High Court said she was not part of a chain of drug dealers. The order also noted that the investigation had found Sushant Singh Rajput used to procure drugs and many others helped him.

Here are the main points made by the judge:

  1. There are no other criminal antecedents against Rhea Chakraborty. She is not part of a chain of drug dealers. She has not forwarded the drugs allegedly procured by her to somebody else to earn monetary 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.

  2. Rhea Chakraborty's actions cannot be stretched to allege harbouring (drugs) for Sushant Singh Rajput. "I am unable to agree with the submission that giving money to another for consuming drugs would mean encouraging such a habit and would mean 'financing' or 'harbouring' as envisaged under Section 27A of the NDPS Act (law on financing drugs, directly or indirectly)."

  3. The investigation did not reveal any commercial amount of drugs found either from Rhea Chakraborty or from the house of Sushant Singh Rajput. There is nothing at this stage to show that (Rhea) had committed any offence involving commercial quantity of contraband.

  4. The judge disagreed that celebrities and role models should be treated harshly so that it sets an example for the young generation and they do not get encouraged to commit such offences. "I do not agree. Everybody is equal before law. No celebrity or role model enjoys any special privilege before the Court of law. Similarly, such person also does not incur any special liability when he faces law in the Courts. Each case will have to be decided on its own merits irrespective of the status of the accused."

  5. There is no basis for the drugs probe agency's worry that Rhea Chakraborty can alert other witnesses or destroy evidence. Noting that the agency did not seek her custody, the judge said that meant they were satisfied with her interrogation and she had cooperated in that investigation.


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