After witchhunt, Rhea Chakraborty granted bail by Bombay High Court

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The Bombay High Court Wednesday granted bail to actress Rhea Chakraborty, who was arrested over drugs-related charges in actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, reported Press Trust of India (PTI).

After the death of Mr. Rajput by suicide, mainstream national media launched a witch-hunt against Ms. Chakraborty and his inner circle — amplifying conspiracies that Mr. Rajput had been killed.

A bench of Justice Sarang Kotwal also granted bail to Mr. Rajput’s aides Dipesh Sawant and Samuel Miranda, but rejected the bail plea of Rhea Chakraborty’s brother Showik Chakraborty, who is also an accused in the case.

The court also rejected the bail plea of alleged drug peddler Abdel Basit Parihar. Rhea Chakraborty and her brother were arrested last month by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with its drugs probe related to the case of Mr. Rajput’s death.

The other accused were also arrested by the NCB during the course of its probe into the case.

The HC, while granting bail to Rhea Chakraborty and two others, directed them to deposit their passports with the NCB and not to leave the country without the permission of the special NDPS court.

The HC also directed Ms. Rhea to visit the nearest police station for the first 10 days after she gets out of jail.

It directed her not to leave Mumbai without the NCB’s permission and to not tamper with evidence while out on bail.

Mr. Rajput, 34, was found hanging at his apartment in suburban Bandra on June 14 this year.

Ms. Rhea and her brother had approached the HC after their bail pleas were rejected by a special NDPS court here last month.

Following extensive hearings last week, the HC had closed all arguments and reserved its verdict on the pleas.

The NCB, through Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, had opposed the bail pleas in the HC. It said there existed ample material to show that Rhea Chakraborty, her brother and others arrested in the case represented a “chain,” and an “active syndicate” that was involved in procuring, financing, harbouring, and abetting drugs and its consumption.

Mr. Singh said Rhea Chakraborty had knowingly paid for Mr. Rajput’s drugs, and concealed the information regarding his drug habit.

These qualified as stringent charges of financing and harbouring drug consumption, as defined under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The court had posed a query to all parties on the application of the stringent section 27-A of the NDPS Act in the case.

The section deals with financing and harbouring drugs and its consumers, and entails a punishment of up to 10 years. It also carries a bar on the grant of bail.

All the accused had opposed the application of the above section in the present case. Rhea Chakraborty’s counsel Satish Maneshinde argued that the actress had only occasionally paid for Rajputs drugs and this did not amount to financing.

All the accused had also argued that the drugs seized by the NCB in the case was in small quantity, and did not qualify ascommercial quantity that could attract stringent sections under the NDPS Act. (PTI)

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