In the absence of any detailed press interface in the SSR narcotics case which has taken a ‘star’ turn, the electronic media has usurped an investigation based strictly on flimsy WhatsApp chats into a fishing expedition.
For the moment, the spotlight is on ‘D-day’ (September 25) when the Narcotics Control Bureau is expected to confront actress Deepika Padukone and her manager Karishma Prakash and quiz them over incriminating ‘drug’ chats. This will be the first time that an A-list actor will face questioning over an alleged Whatsapp group which, if the media buzz is to be believed, she was heading as an administrator.
Deepika is likely to face a team of three interrogators, unsourced media reports said late on Friday evening.
The legal tenability of such chats, which need to be corroborated in a court, is in doubt, said sources; the supposedly encrypted messages are from October 2017 in which the sender, believed to be ‘Deepika Padukone,’ is asking for "maal" from 'K' who replies that she has it, but at home. The agency believes ‘K’ to be her manager Krishna Prakash.
Prakash, employed with Mumbai-based KWAN Talent Management agency, was questioned on Friday.
So was actor Rakul Preet Singh who has featured in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil films. “On Friday, Rakul and Karishma joined the investigation. Karishma has been called again on Saturday,” said KPS Malhotra, deputy director, NCB. The agency will question the duo over the veracity of the chats and alleged consumption, possession and carriage of drugs.
Dharma Production's executive producer Kshitij Prasad is also under the scanner, which is the other talking point in the electronic media; TV channels and news portals have been quick to link the aforesaid to an infamous party thrown by Karan Johar.
Meanwhile, the NCB on Friday said investigations have revealed that actor Rhea Chakraborty “would pass” on drugs to Rajput”. The probe also revealed that the actor’s staffers Samuel Miranda and Dipesh Sawant “used to collect the said contraband and provided it to Sushant Singh after making joints.”
“Showik Chakraborty (Rhea’s brother) has accepted that he used to procure weed and buds through Basit Parihar and Kaizan Ebrahim and passed it onto to his sister Rhea who further passed it to his friend Sushant Singh Rajput. Samuel Miranda and Dipesh Sawant (staffers of actor) used to collect the said contraband and provided it to Singh after making joints. Rhea was arrested after her voluntary statement,” said Malhotra.