The bail requests of actor Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik, who have been in jail for nearly three weeks on drugs-related charges linked to the Sushant Singh Rajput investigation, were heard today by the Bombay High Court, which will now pass orders in the case soon.
Rhea Chakraborty, who dated movie star Sushant Singh Rajput, was arrested on September 9 on charges of organising drugs for him.
In court, her lawyer Satish Maneshinde argued that Sushant Singh Rajput was the only one who used drugs and he had started the habit before his relationship with Rhea Chakraborty.
"If Sushant was alive today, he would be punished under Section 27 for consumption, which means six months to a year in jail. If the main beneficiary gets only that punishment, how can Rhea and Showik be charged with Sec 27A, which attracts 10-20 years punishment," the lawyer questioned.
Referring to the Narcotics Control Bureau citing Rs 10,000 from Rhea Chakraborty's bank allegedly used for buying drugs, he said the amount was 25 grams for Sushant's use and it was clear that they were not drug-dealing for profit.
The Narcotics Control Bureau, opposing bail, said the siblings bought drugs not for their own use but to supply them to Sushant Singh Rajput, which is "a more serious offense" related to the funding of drugs.
"Under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, this is the most serious crime," Narcotics Control Bureau officer Sameer Wankhede said in his written submission.
Rhea Chakraborty also used her home to buy and store drugs for Sushant Singh Rajput, says the officer, saying she was therefore guilty of "harbouring drugs".
"It is clear from the statements and electronic evidence gathered by the NCB that the applicant is an active member of the drug syndicate connected with high society personalities and drug suppliers. There is sufficient evidence that she is involved in drug trafficking," the anti-drugs agency said. On September 9, the bureau had described the 28-year-old actor as an "active member of a drug syndicate".
Mr Maneshinde countered: "How can Rhea 'harbour' Sushant when he was in his own house? At any point of time, Sushant was under no apprehension of arrest. There is no question of 'harbouring'."
Rhea Chakraborty's bail plea alleges a witch-hunt by the Narcotics Control Bureau at the instance of three central agencies who have no evidence against her. She also alleges that Sushant Singh Rajput "took advantage of those closest to him to sustain his drug habit".
Sushant Singh Rajput, 34, was found dead in his Mumbai apartment on June 14. The Mumbai police launched a suicide probe but weeks after the actor's family filed a case accusing Rhea Chakraborty of mentally harassing him, taking money from his accounts and playing a role in his death, the investigation was handed over to the CBI. The Narcotics Control Bureau stepped in when WhatsApp chats retrieved from Rhea Chakraborty's phone revealed conversations involving drugs.
The investigation has widened into a drugs-and-Bollywood hunt in which top actors, Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan have also been questioned.