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"Accused Has Taken Names, If Released On Bail Evidence Will Be Destroyed"; Why Sessions Court Rejected Rhea And Showik's Bail [Read Order]

Nitish Kashyap
15 Sep 2020 5:44 AM GMT
Accused Has Taken Names, If Released On Bail Evidence Will Be Destroyed; Why Sessions Court Rejected Rhea And Showiks Bail [Read Order]
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While rejecting bail to both Rhea Chakraborty and Showik Chakraborty, the Sessions Court last Friday observed that both the accused have named certain persons and investigation in respect of these persons is underway. So if they (Chakraborty's) are released on bail, they will alert these persons and evidence will be destroyed, Court reasoned.

Judge GB Gurao was hearing the bail applications filed on behalf of both Showik and Rhea by their Advocate Satish Maneshinde. Both siblings are accused of procuring drugs for actor Sushant Singh Rajput who was found dead in his apartment on July 14.

According to the Narcotics Control Bureau, one Abbas Ramzan Ali Lakhani was apprehended alongwith 46 gms of Marijuana/Ganja on August 28. Abbas told them that he purchased the drug from Karn Arora. Accordingly, NCB team apprehended Karn Arora and seized 13 gms of Ganja from him. Thus, a total of 59 grams of Ganja was recovered and both the accused were arrested.

Based on disclosure by accused Abbas and Karn, NCB team searched the premises of accused Zaid Vilatra and seized Rs.9,55,750 and foreign currency 2081 US Dollars, 180 UK Pounds and UAE 15 Dirhams under panchanama. His statement was recorded and he stated that the seized amount is the sale proceeds of contraband. Accused Zaid Vilatra disclosed the name of accused Abdel Basit Parihar, receiver of Ganja/Marijuana. During the statement Abdel Basit Parihar revealed that he purchases and sales of Marijuana/Ganja through accused Zaid and Kaizan Ebrahim. He obtained drugs from accused Zaid and accused Kaizan as per instructions of accused Showik Chakraborty.

Abdel Basit Parihar has also disclosed that he facilitated the drugs and he was in contact with accused Samuel Miranda (house manager of Sushant) and accused Showik Chakraborty. He used to pay and receive money for contraband via Credit cards/Cash and payment gateways.

When accused Kaizan Ebrahim was interrogated by NCB team and he disclosed the name of accused Anuj Keshwani as supplier of Ganja/Marijuana. Accused Keshwani was dealing in the purchase and sale of Ganja, Charas and LSD. He used to procure drugs from Rigel Mahakala with intent to sell to accused Kaizan Ebrahim. Accused Anuj Keshwani was in contact with accused Kaizan Ebrahim. On the basis of statement of accused Keshwani, NCB team seized Charas, Ganja, THC and LSD along with some cash from his house.

Furthermore, during his statement, accused Showik Chakraborty revealed that he used to facilitate the delivery to arrange drugs through accused Abdel Parihar by accused Kaizan Ebrahim and accused Zaid. These deliveries used to be received by aides of Late Sushant Singh Rajput and every delivery and payment was in knowledge of accused Rhea Chakraborty and even sometimes payments and choice of drug was confirmed from accused Rhea Chakraborty.

During the statement, accused Samuel Miranda disclosed that he used to procure drugs on the direction of Sushant Singh Rajput and accused Rhea Chakraborty and disclosed that financial matter in this regard were being dealt by accused Rhea Chakraborty and Late Sushant Singh Rajput. Moreover, accused Dipesh Sawant (Sushant's house help) disclosed that he used to receive drugs for Sushant Singh Rajput on his directions and on several occasions accused Rhea Chakraborty also instructed him.

Further story of the prosecution is that, based upon disclosure of Showik Chakraborty, Samuel Miranda and Dipesh Sawant, Rhea Chakraborty was summoned and her statement was recorded on September 6, 7 and 8. During her statement on all three days she was confronted to all accused persons and the facts in their statements were verified. Accused Rhea Chakraborty acknowledged their statements and her role was explained. During the statement accused Rhea Chakraborty revealed about her involvement in procuring of drug and financial transaction and also her instructions to accused Samuel Miranda, accused Dipesh Sawant and accused Showik Chakraborty in this regard.

Thus, all accused were active in drug syndicate connected with drug supplies. Accused used to procure drugs for Sushant Singh Rajput for consumption purpose. Accordingly, the crime u/sec.8(c) r/w 20(b)(ii)(A), 22, 27(A), 28, 29 and 30 of the NDPS Act is registered and now the crime is under investigation, the prosecution contended.

Advocate Maneshinde argued that other co-accused Abbas Lakhani, Kaizen Ebrahim and Karan Arora were released on bail. However, prosecution has applied Section 27A only in the aspect of Showik so that he does not get bail. He was coerced into making self incriminatory confessions which were subsequently retracted by him, the first opportunity he got before the Magistrate, Maneshinde argued.

On behalf of Rhea, Adv Maneshinde submitted that she is being falsely implicated in the case. No narcotic or psychotropic substances have been seized from her possession. The prosecution agency has incorrectly applied section 27-A of the NDPS Act, in view of the bar, accused to release on bail section 37 of the NDPS Act. The only allegations against the accused is that she has only procured drug for her late boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput. She had never managed finance for drug procurement alongwith late Sushant Singh Rajput. Thus, it can not be said that accused is an active member of the drug syndicate connected with drug supplies, Maneshinde said.

SPP Atul Sarpande submitted that even though the accused have come with a specific case that no contraband was seized from their possession and that the quantity of the said drug (Ganja) is small quantity and at the most, accused can be convicted for one year and thus, offence is bailable. However, the accused is involved in illicit trafficking of drug. She has financed for drug for late Sushant Singh Rajput and therefore, she has committed an offence punishable under section 27-A of the NDPS Act, SPP Sarpande said.

SPP Sarpande also argued that Rhea had demanded police protection from home to NCB office and that is why one lady API was assigned to her. Admittedly, statement of the accused is recorded on September 6,7 & 8, 2020. The prosecution revealed the role of the accused on the basis of said statement and thereafter, she was arrested in the crime.

Court noted that at this juncture, when the investigation is at a preliminary stage, it can not be said that the said statement of the accused is forcefully recorded and inadmissible in evidence.

Finally, Judge Gurao observed-

"From the record it is seen that the accused and late Sushant Singh Rajput were in a live-in relationship. It is alleged that the accused procured drugs for Sushant Singh Rajput by financing them, for that accused had asked her brother Showik to arrange for the drug and for them drugs were arranged from the accused Zaid Vilatra and Abdel Basit. NCB had recovered WhatsApp chats and other electronic evidence. Some amount is also transferred via credit card of accused. Further, in the present crime there is recovery of commercial quantity of LSD from accused Anuj Keshwani. The investigation is at preliminary stage, therefore, from the available record, it can not be said that there are no reasonable grounds to connect the accused."

Rejecting the bail pleas of both Showik and Rhea, Court said-

"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 he/she will alert those persons and they will destroy the evidence. There is possibility of tampering of evidence. As discussed above considering the allegations against the accused there is a bar to release the accused on bail under section 37 of NDPS Act 1985. The investigation is at preliminary stage and if the accused is released on bail then she will tamper the prosecution evidence. Hence, in such a circumstance I find that applicant/accused is not entitled for bail."

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