Denying bail to actor Rhea Chakraborty, who was arrested a week ago on drugs charges linked to the Sushant Singh Rajput investigation, a court in Mumbai reasoned that if she was released, she would alert "other persons" she had named and they could destroy evidence. The sessions court ruled that Rhea Chakraborty's alleged offence -- financing drugs procured for her boyfriend actor Sushant Singh Rajput - was non-bailable. It also dismissed her argument that the amount of drugs seized in the case was only 59 grams.
Team Rhea plans to go to the Bombay High Court next.
"According to the prosecution, accused has taken the names of other persons. The investigation in respect of those persons is in process. If the accused is released on bail then she will alert those persons and they will destroy the evidence. There is a possibility of tampering of evidence," says the detailed order of the court. "The investigation is at a preliminary stage and if the accused is released on bail then she will tamper the prosecution evidence. Hence, in such a circumstance I find that applicant/accused is not entitled for bail," the judge said.
Rhea Chakraborty was arrested last Tuesday by the Narcotics Control Bureau on charges that she organized drugs for Sushant Singh Rajput. She was described as an "active member of a drugs syndicate" by the drugs probe agency.
The court referred to her statements during her three-day questioning, when she was confronted with all other accused including her brother Showik. "Accused Rhea Chakraborty acknowledged their statements and her role explained. During the statement accused Rhea Chakraborty revealed about her involvement in procuring of drug and financial transaction and also her instructions to accused Samuel Miranda, accused Dipesh Sawant and accused Showik Chakraborty in this regard. Thus, all accused were active in drug syndicate connected with drug supplies. Accused used to procure drugs for Sushant Singh Rajput for consumption purpose."
Rhea Chakraborty's lawyer Satish Maneshinde had argued that no contraband was seized from her and the allegations involved a "small quantity" of Ganja, which can lead to a year's jail and is bailable. The court disagreed: "However, according to the prosecution accused is involved in illicit trafficking of drug. She has financed for drug for late Sushant Singh Rajput and therefore, she has committed an offence punishable under section 27-A of the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act. The offence is non-bailable."
Under the law, no particular quantity of drug was required to prove the offence, the court said.
According to section 27-A of the NDPS Act, whoever indulges in financing drugs, directly or indirectly, can face rigorous imprisonment for 10-20 years and a fine of up to Rs 2 lakh.
The court also dismissed Rhea Chakraborty's argument that she was coerced into making her statement, which was therefore, inadmissible.
"From the record it is seen that the accused and late Sushant Singh Rajput were in a (live-in) relationship. It is alleged that accused procured drug for Sushant Singh Rajput by financing, for that accused had asked her brother Showik to arrange for the drug and for them drug were arranged from the accused Zaid Vilatra and Abdel Basit.
NCB had recovered WhatsApp chats and other electronic evidence. Some amount is also transferred via credit card of accused. The investigation is at preliminary stage, therefore, from the available record, it cannot be said that there are no reasonable grounds to connect the accused."