Synopsis: The Narcotics Control Bureau opposed the pleas, claiming that the crime of the defendant was “worse than murder”.
In the bail applications filed by Rhea Chakraborty, Showik Chakraborty, Abdel Basit Parihar, Samuel Miranda and Dipesh Sawant in relation to their alleged involvement in cases under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, Justice SV Kotwal of the Bombay High Court reserved judgement on Tuesday.
The cases and arrests came in August this year following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) alleges that Rajput even procured the drugs for consumption.
Following the rejection of bail by the Special NDPS Court, Mumbai, Rhea and the others filed bail applications before the Bombay High Court.
After a marathon hearing that lasted beyond the usual working hours of the Court, Justice Kotwal thanked the counsel for their help and informed them that he was reserving orders.
As for Rhea and her brother, Showik Chakraborty, Advocate Satish Maneshinde appeared. For the other 3 accused, advocates Tariq Sayyed, Subodh Desai and Rajendra Rathod have appeared. For the Drug Control Bureau, additional Solicitor General Anil Singh appeared.
During the hearing on Tuesday, Justice Kotwal noted that the Supreme Court’s judgement in the State of Punjab v. Baldev Singh(1999) could be relevant to the decision on the matter.
The Supreme Court stated in the Baldev Singh case that Section 37 of the NDPS Act makes offences cognizable and non-bailable contrary to the Act.
Justice Kotwal requested the prosecutor to investigate this case and to address the Court as to whether it would be bailable for the offences the bail applicants were charged with. As it is a decision by the Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench, the Judge also found that it could be binding on it.
To separate the case from the instant case, the Lawyers for the accused argued that they also focused more on recent decisions in which bail was issued by the courts.
On September 22, Chakraborty’s judicial custody was extended to October 6 by a court in Mumbai. The Bureau of Narcotics Control said that she was a “active member of a drug syndicate.”
Chakraborty had said in her bail petition that Rajput “was the only drug consumer and used those around him to promote his drug habit.” In a witch-hunt, Chakraborty even accused the investigative agencies of targeting her and her brother.
On June 14, Rajput was found dead in his apartment in Bandra, what the Mumbai Police said was a suicide case. The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate are already looking into the case.
In the drug case, several high-profile actors have also been questioned, including Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan.