Actor Deepika Padukone’s manager Karishma Prakash booked in the drugs case connected to late actor Sushant Singh Rajput made an application before court through her advocate on Wednesday for the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to give specifics of the evidence it has against her to charge her with ‘financing illicit trafficking and harbouring offenders’ under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, a stringent charge it added later, punishment for which can extend from 10 to 20 years imprisonment.
Appearing for Prakash, her advocates Abad Ponda and Ayaz Khan sought that the agency make specific pleadings in writing on the same. The NCB in its reply to this filed through Special Public Prosecutor Atul Sarpande said that she is a suspect and not an accused presently and hence, is not entitled to ask details of evidence. It said further that the evidence has been shown to court and that it is satisfied.
Advocate Khan said that earlier during on-going arguments on Prakash's anticipatory bail plea, the NCB had submitted documents regarding the specific charge to court but the defence was not given access to it.
On January 19, the NCB during Prakash’s anticipatory bail hearing had stated in writing that it intends to add the charge of Sec 27(A) of the NDPS Act against her in addition to other charges. At that time, the defence had asked for evidence on the basis of which the agency wanted to add the charge. The NCB had said that at that stage, the defence is not entitled to ask what evidence it is relying upon. To this, the defence had said Prakash does not want names of witnesses, but only the nature of evidence that the NCB is relying on and that this must be disclosed before the court, so that they can decide the scope of arguments. The court had then said that after the prosecution makes its oral arguments, the defence will be given an opportunity to argue on the applicability of the charge.