After over three days of grilling, actress Rhea Chakraborty was arrested on Tuesday by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in drugs case linked to her boyfriend and actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death. Shortly after her arrest, she was sent to judicial custody till September 22 by a local court. On Wednesday, she was shifted from the anti-drug agency's office in south Mumbai to the Byculla jail.
But, with no drugs recovered, legal experts say NCB will have a tough time proving its allegations during trial.
Here are three points that show how NCB will have a hard time proving Rhea Chakraborty guilty of drug use:
1. While presenting the case, NCB will need physical evidence. Advocate Ayaz Khan has said that “A case cannot begin with confessions and WhatsApp chats. There needs to be physical evidence.” Khan said the chats are a matter of interpretation and that finding contraband is important. For instance, he said the NCB may construe a ‘joint’ as ‘hash,’ but it could mean a cigarette to somebody. The chats may show planning of an offence, but what is the proof of the crime, he asked.
2. While, the NCB arrested two people, Abbas Lakhani and Karan Arora, who were in possession of very small quantities of drugs (from Lakhani 46 gm marijuana and from Arora 13 gm marijuana was seized). But, only seizure of Marijuana of above 20 kg comes under the category of commercial quantity. For small quantities, the offences are bailable, and the punishment is less than three years.
3. Prominent advocate Rizwan Merchant gave the example of a Juhu rave party, where youngsters had consumed drugs. The youngsters were later granted immunity from being tried under the NDPS Act and had undergone detoxification. He said, in Rhea's case too, the accused can apply for immunity and that, in his legal practice of 35 years, he has not seen convictions given in narcotics cases on the basis of electronic evidence.
(Inputs from Bhavna Uchil)