Opposing bail pleas of actor Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and three others in a drug case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that the offences were non-bailable as the crime involved was “worse than murder or culpable homicide”.
A single judge bench of Justice Sarang V Kotwal was conducting a day-long hearing on bail pleas on Tuesday and arguments on whether offences were bailable and if certain provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act were applicable in present cases. The bail pleas by Rhea, Showik, and three others including Samuel Miranda, Abdel Basit Parihar and Dipesh Sawant, were rejected by the special NDPS Court on September 11.
Appearing for the NCB, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh told the court that it will have to keep in mind the backdrop under which the NDPS Act is made with respect to the social condition and the legislative intent.
“This is sort of a crime, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, which is worse than murder or culpable homicide. Murder affects one person or a family. However, this (drug cases) affects the entire society,” he said.
“We are seeing the trend going on in the country, (among) the college youngsters. This is a crime, where it should be made non-bailable. Therefore, the legislature has said that the offence will be cognizable and have not made it bailable,” he added.
Singh said the bail provisions for NDPS Act have been made more stringent considering the kind of offences which are “destroying structure of the society”. He also said that as far as offences under NDPS Act is concerned, the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) will not apply.
On Monday, the NCB told the high court through affidavits that Rhea and Showik were “active members of a drug syndicate connected with high society personalities and drug suppliers”.
The central anti-drug agency opposed their bail pleas and said the applicants had “abetted and financed” drug transactions and therefore Section 27A of the NDPS Act, which provides punishment for financing drug trafficking and harbouring offenders, was applicable in the case.
Sameer Wankhede, zonal director (NCB), on Monday submitted two separate affidavits. NCB submitted that Rhea, being aware of the fact that Rajput was engaged in consumption, had harboured and concealed him. “This would tantamount to harbouring. Rhea also allowed her residence for drug storage and consumption by Rajput,” the NCB said.
The agency said while the investigation is at a crucial stage, if the applicants are released on bail, it will hamper the probe.
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