A local Magistrate here sent actress Rhea Chakraborty to 14-day judicial custody late on Tuesday night.
In an anti-climax of sorts, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Tuesday arrested Chakraborty, but later declined to take her into its own custody and instead sought 14-day judicial custody, which was granted.
The NCB made the sensational arrest shortly after 3.30 pm as part of its probe to unravel the nexus of the drug in the film industry, capping three days of tough grilling and intense speculation.
Rhea was charged under NDPS Act Sections 8(C), 20(b)(ii), 22, 27A, 28 and 29, for her alleged role in the drugs angle which has emerged in the investigations into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, said NCB Deputy Director M.A. Jain.
Jain added that whatever information she has given to the NCB was “sufficient for the arrest”, and she was produced in a video-conference before the Esplanade Court Magistrate late on Tuesday evening.
In its six-page NCB remand application, Rhea was described as “an active member of the drug syndicate connected with drug supplies” who “used to manage finances for drug procurement along with Sushant Singh Rajput” — without any mention if she herself consumed drugs.
Late on Tuesday night, a Mumbai Magistrate sent her to 14 days judicial custody, after which Rhea’s lawyers moved the same court for bail, which was declined.
Since a woman cannot be taken to a regular jail at night, Rhea is expected to spend the night in the NCB’s lockup while her legal team plans the next move, including applying for bail in a higher court.
Earlier on Tuesday, Rhea — who has all along maintained she is innocent — was quickly whisked off for a mandatory medical test at the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation’s LTMG Sion Hospital and came back to the NCB office for the court hearing.
In a scathing statement targeting the family of Sushant, Rhea’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde termed it as a “travesty of justice”.
Rhea was denied bail under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. According to Section 27A in the NDPS Act:
1[27A. Punishment for financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders. Whoever indulges in the financing, directly or indirectly, any of the activities specified in sub-clauses
(i) to (v) of clause (viiia) of section 2 or harbours any person engaged in any of the aforementioned activities, shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to twenty years and shall also be liable to fine which shall not be less than one lakh rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees: Provided that the court may, for reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a fine exceeding two lakh rupees]