Rhea Chakraborty
Rhea Chakraborty
Photo by BL Soni

Mumbai: After spending nearly a month in the Byculla women's prison, actress Rhea Chakraborty got released on Wednesday, after being granted bail by the Bombay High Court.

The HC however, denied bail to her brother Showik Chakraborty.

A bench of Justice Sarang Kotwal granted bail to Rhea on a surety of Rs one lakh. The bench has also granted bail to co-accused Samuel Miranda, and cook Deepak Sawant. The judge, who heard all the bail applications last week for more than seven hours, however, denied bail to Rhea's brother Showik and drug peddler Abdul Basit.

Last week, Justice Kotwal had heard the arguments of the NCB, Rhea's counsel Satish Maneshinde and advocate Taraq Sayed, who appeared for the other accused in the case.

Sayed had argued that there was not enough material to prosecute all the 19 people named as accused in the case. "All these persons come from reputed and respected families. Most of them are young students. The NCB has only said that they all procured and delivered drugs to Sushant for his consumption," Sayed argued, adding that the anti-drugs agency has not claimed that any of these persons have consumed drugs.

"The only case is of procuring drugs for Sushant, who is no more and was the only consumer. The point is, how is the agency going to prove there was a supply of drugs when he (Sushant) is not here," the advocate argued.

Sayed, however, did not deny his clients consuming drugs. "Sometimes at this young age, youngsters indeed do some things that they should not. At the most, it would be a case of consumption and no conspiracy. Thus, the NCB is wrong in claiming this to be a cartel," the counsel submitted.

Meanwhile, Anil Singh, additional solicitor general for NCB had argued that even if there is no recovery from any of these accused, that would not obstruct the agency from probing the case. "We have to go to the roots of this cartel and clean all the sectors be it schools, colleges or Bollywood. Just because there are youngsters, in this case, won't mean we should be sympathetic. There is a need to teach them a lesson," ASG Singh argued, adding that celebrities cannot be let go of so easily since they are role models for youngsters.

Reacting to the order, Rhea's counsel Maneshinde said, "Truth and justice have prevailed. The order indicates that Rhea's arrest and subsequent custody was totally unwarranted and beyond any law."

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Free Press Journal