There is enough evidence to show Showik Chakraborty - actor Rhea Chakraborty's brother - is part of a chain of drug dealers engaged in the trafficking of banned substances, the Bombay High Court said today as it denied him bail in connection with a drugs probe into actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.
Minutes earlier the court had granted Ms Chakraborty bail, a month after she and her brother were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). In her case - she was arrested on charges of organising drugs for Mr Rajput - the court said she "is not part of a chain of drug dealers".
"The material gathered so far shows that Showik not only knew many drug dealers but he was in touch with them and was actually transacting with them. Thus, he is part of chain of drug dealers. At this stage, the investigating agency has sufficient material to show he is part of a chain of drug dealers engaged in illicit traffic of drugs," the court said on Wednesday morning.
The court also said Mr Chakraborty could not be charged with procurement of and payment for drugs for the specific consumption of Sushant Singh Rajput.
A similar statement was made by the court in connection with charges against Ms Chakraborty; the court said it was "unable to agree... that giving money to for consuming drugs... would mean "financing" or "harbouring"...".
Showik Chakraborty was arrested early last month, along with Mr Rajput's house manager Samuel Miranda, and charged under multiple sections of the anti-narcotics law.
Rhea Chakraborty was arrested days later and accused of being "an active member of a drugs syndicate" and financing drugs for use by Mr Rajput, her boyfriend.
The NCB has repeatedly said that the brother-sister duo had bought drugs not for their own use but to supply them to Mr Rajput, which is "a more serious offense" related to the funding of drugs. The anti-drugs agency called her "an active member of a drugs syndicate".
The High Court, however, said "simply providing money for a particular transaction or other transactions will not be financing..." and said allegations of spending money to buy drugs for Mr Rajput did not mean Ms Chakraborty "financed illicit traffic."
The court also pointed out the investigation has not, so far, revealed "commercial amount of drugs" from either Rhea or Showik, or from the home of Mr Rajput. "There is nothing at this stage to show (Rhea) committed any offence involving commercial quantity," the court said.
Mr Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai home in June. Mumbai Police launched a suicide probe but the actor's family accused Ms Chakraborty of mentally harassing and taking money from him. After weeks of political sparring and intrigue the CBI was handed the case.
The Narcotics Bureau was involved after texts from Ms Chakraborty's phone opened a drugs angle.
The investigation has since grown to include Bollywood figures and top actors Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan have also been questioned.