SC objects to NCB plea against Bombay HC observations in Rhea case

Rhea case

New Delhi: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that it was not pressing against the grant of bail to actress Rhea Chakraborty in a drug-related case, instead of objecting to the wide-ranging observation made by the Bombay High Court in the matter.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for NCB, that it would have to challenge the High Court order, granting bail to actress Rhea Chakraborty, if it wanted to assail adverse remarks made in the judgment.

Mehta submitted that the NCB is not pressing against bail granted by Chakraborty. He clarified that certain wide-ranging observations have been made by the High Court about the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Mehta added these observations will make it very difficult for the agency to prosecute and ensure conviction.

The bench also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian told Mehta that he cannot challenge the bail order observations without challenging the bail order itself. Mehta submitted that the NCB would make the necessary amendments in the petition and challenge the bail order as well. The top court scheduled the matter for a hearing next week.

On October 7, last year, the High Court had granted bail to Rhea after furnishing a bond of Rs one lakh. She was among the 20 arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with the drug angle probe into the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Rhea had spent 28 days in custody.

Rhea’s counsel had contended that the NCB lacked jurisdiction to probe the matter in view of the Supreme Court order of August 19 directing to hand over all investigations in the Sushant case to the CBI, the offenses under which the accused were nabbed by the NCB were bailable and the charges under the NDPS Act Section 217A against the accused did not have supporting evidence.

Rhea and her brother Showik Chakraborty and three others — Abdel Basit Parihar, Samuel Miranda, and Dipesh Sawant — were accused of having facilitated the procurement of drugs for consumption by late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. They filed bail applications before the Bombay High Court after their bail plea was dismissed by a Special NDPS Court in Mumbai.

Among the conditions listed for Rhea’s bail were depositing her passport with the NCB, reporting to the local police station daily for 10 days, not leaving Mumbai without informing the NCB, etc.


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