Keeping in mind the COVID-19 pandemic and to maintain law and order, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrates court on Monday said any accused arrested in the actor Sushant Singh Rajput case shall be produced before it for remand only through video-conferencing.
The court also said investigating agencies should carry out antigen test for COVID-19 of the accused in their office premises itself.
In a two-page order, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate ST Dande said, "In the present-day situation of pandemic and past experience and to maintain law and order and administration of justice, any accused related to the Sushant Singh Rajput case, remand will be carried through video conferencing only."
The order said the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which has so far arrested six persons in connection with its drugs probe linked to Rajputs death, and any other agency shall ensure that all norms and standard operating procedure pertaining to the safe custody of the accused persons as per the Criminal Procedure Code are strictly followed.
The NCB or any investigating agency will ensure that they carry out the necessary Rapid Antigen Test for COVID-19 of the accused in the office premises itself.
"This needs to be done to curtail the time taken for transporting the accused to the hospital and back and also to maintain Law and order situation," the order said.
It said the NCB and any other investigating agency shall make necessary hardware arrangements like computer, camera, speakers and good internet connection at their end for smooth conduct of video-conferencing (VC) hearing. The court added that the prosecutor and the advocates for the accused persons can opt to either appear via VC link or physically but shall then be allowed only with two juniors.
The NCB has arrested Rajputs girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty's brother Showik Chakraborty, Samuel Miranda, Sushant Rajput's house manager, and four others for alleged sale and purchase of banned drugs under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
All the accused are in NCB custody till September 9.
The NCB has also been questioning Rhea Chakraborty.
Sushant Rajput (34) was found hanging on June 14 in his residence in suburban Bandra. The Mumbai police had lodged an accidental death report (ADR) case.
On July 25, Sushant Rajput's father KK Singh lodged an FIR with the Patna police against Rhea Chakraborty, her parents Indrajit and Sandhya, brother Showik, and two others Shruti Modi, the late actor's former manager, and Miranda.
Mr Singh accused them of cheating and abetting his son's suicide.
Mr Singh had also claimed that the accused persons had siphoned off Rs 15 crore from his sons bank accounts. Based on this allegation, he Enforcement Directorate is probing money laundering charges.
The Patna police case was later transferred to the CBI.
The NCB is probing drug angle in the case after it came to light that Ms Chakraborty, her brother Showik and Miranda used to allegedly purchase and consume drugs.