Avin Sahu and Manish Rajgarhia, both accused in the Cordelia cruise drugs case, became the first among 20 accused to get bail on Tuesday from a special court under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Sahu and Rajgarhia, both 30 and from Odisha, were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 4, two days after the raid on the cruise ship. They had both gone on the ship and were detained after its return. The agency claimed that Sahu had admitted to having smoked ganja twice during his stay on the ship. From Rajgarhia, the NCB claimed to have recovered 2.4 g ganja.
Arguing for Sahu’s bail, his advocate Sana Raees Khan had told the court that no blood test was conducted by the agency on him, though the NCB has charged him of consuming drugs. Advocate Taraq Sayed had appeared for Rajgarhia and told the court that the alleged seizure of 2.4 g ganja can be called not small, but nano-small quantity. He had also disputed the recovery procedure followed by the NCB and informed the court that documents attached with the panchnama showed that the drug was handed over by the chief security officer of the cruise ship to an NCB officer, but that it is not clear from where the former had recovered the contraband.
The NCB had opposed both the pleas. In Rajgarhia’s case, it clarified to the court by relying on the statement of the security officer, that drugs were surrendered to him by Rajgarhia, which he then handed over to the NCB officer.
On Tuesday, the court heard the bail plea of Nupur Sathija, one of the two women accused in the case – the other being Munmun Dhamecha – to whom the court had denied bail along with Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant. Sathija’s advocate Ayaz Khan told the court that her arrest was made after sunset, which is illegal for a woman and that the formal arrest was done by a male officer, which again is illegal.
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