6 Oct 2020 1:11 PM GMT
The Bombay High Court tomorrow will pronounce verdict in the bail applications filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, Dipesh Sawant, Samuel Miranda and Abdel Parihar in the Narcotics Control Bureau's case against them under various provisions of the Narcotics Drugs And Psychotropic Substances Act for allegedly procuring drugs for actor Sushant Singh Rajput and being part of a...
The Bombay High Court tomorrow will pronounce verdict in the bail applications filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, Dipesh Sawant, Samuel Miranda and Abdel Parihar in the Narcotics Control Bureau's case against them under various provisions of the Narcotics Drugs And Psychotropic Substances Act for allegedly procuring drugs for actor Sushant Singh Rajput and being part of a drug cartel.
Justice Sarang V Kotwal heard the bail applications extensively throughout the day and reserved the judgment on September 29.
A total of six accused in the case have been booked under Section 8(c) read with Sections 20(b)(ii)(a), 22, 27A, 28, 29 and 30 of the NDPS Act. Sessions court denied bail to all of them on September 11 and later four of the accused namely Zaid Vilatra, Abdel Parihar, Samuel Miranda and Dipesh Sawant moved High Court. Rhea and her brother Showik moved the High Court later. Zaid Vilatra's bail application came up for hearing before Justice GS Kulkarni (who was sitting in for Justice Revati Dere) on September 29 and Advocate Taraq Sayed appeared on his behalf as well.
Yesterday, Advocate Taraq Sayed sought permission from Justice Revati Dere to withdraw the petition challenging the Bandra based hotelier's detention by the NCB stating that the contentions raised in Vilatra's application on points of law are already covered in the bail hearing before Justice Kotwal. Permission to withdraw the application was granted.
NCB's Case Against The Accused
The most significant assertion by the NCB during the entire hearing has been that when a person fails to disclose the fact of drug consumption by another person, it amounts to harbouring an offender under Section 27A of the NDPS Act.
Appearing on behalf of the central agency, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh countered the submissions made by counsels for Rhea and other co-accused, Advocates Taraq Sayed and Satish Manshinde, that the accused cannot be said to have 'harboured' Sushant as he was living in his own apartment and he was under no apprehension of arrest at any point of time. He submitted -
"If somebody known to me is consuming drugs and I know that consuming drugs is illegal, I am still not telling this to anyone, not disclosing it to police then it can be brought under the definition of 'harbouring'(under Sec 27A)".
Justice Kotwal asked "You are saying non-disclosure is giving shelter?"
In reply, ASG said "The definition says 'assistance by any means'", referring to the definition of harbouring given under Section 52A of the Indian Penal Code.
Section 27A deals with "Punishment for financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders. Whoever indulges in financing, directly or indirectly, any of the activities specified in sub-clauses…"
In conclusion, ASG Singh submitted-
"Considering the brutality of the case & overall circumstances of cases, drug abuse has to be controlled in the country, in all sectors- college, school, Bollywood, wherever it is. Our leaders always say the country is dependent on youngsters. Some people, who are supposed to be role models, feel that there is nothing wrong in drug use. If I as a celebrity, who is a role model for college students, consume drugs, what would be the future of the country?"
Arguing that the NCB's case was extremely weak, Advocate Taraq Sayed had argued-
"NCB is a premier investigation agency. They have better things to do than arrest people with a few grams of charas or ganja. 19 college students have been arrested and NCB is projecting as if a drug cartel has been busted. They (NCB) are only playing with the sections. There are no specific allegations to show that I am part of a big drug syndicate.
Though 19 people have been arrested, the NCB has not recovered even 100 grams of ganja from them", Adv Taraq said sarcastically.