Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Rhea may alert others, destroy evidence if released on bail: Court

Refusing to grant bail to actor Rhea Chakraborty in connection with a drug case related to the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, a special (Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) court in Mumbai has held that if she is released on bail she may alert others and they may destroy evidence.

Additional Sessions Judge GB Gurao, while disposing of the bail plea on September 11, observed that the investigation is at a preliminary stage and if the accused is released on bail then she may tamper with the prosecution evidence. “In addition 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,” the order said.

The special NDPS court noted that the prosecution has explained that accused demanded police protection to come to the Narcotics Control Bureau office from her house, after which one lady cop was accompanying the accused.

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“Statement of the accused was recorded on September 6,7 and 8. The prosecution revealed the role of the accused on the basis of said statement and thereafter, she was arrested in the crime. Therefore, at this stage, when the investigation is at a preliminary stage, it can not be said that the statement is forcefully recorded and inadmissible in evidence,” the order said.

“Section 27-A of the NDPS Act as discussed above is in respect of the illicit trafficking of drug, considering the punishment prescribed for the offence punishable under this section offence is non-bailable,” it added.

The court also observed that the NCB has recovered WhatsApp chat and other electronic evidence and that some amount was transferred via credit card of the accused. It also noted that a commercial quantity of LSD was recovery from accused Anuj Keshwani.

Apart from Rhea, the court had on September 11 also rejected the bail plea of Rhea’s brother Showik, Abdul Basit, Zaid Vilatra, Dipesh Sawant and Samuel Miranda, who were also arrested by the NCB in the case.

Rhea, in her bail application, had said that the NCB has not disclosed any connection between Chakraborty and any drug peddler and claimed that during her custody, she was coerced into making incriminatory confessions and that statement was retracted on September 8 itself.

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