A day after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Friday filed a voluminous 11,400-page charge sheet along with over 50,000 pages in digital form before a special court in Mumbai in the drugs case related to late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, actor Rhea Chakraborty’s advocate responded calling the charge sheet “a damp squib standing on the foundation of inadmissible evidence”.
Advocate Satish Maneshinde was referring to statements of accused persons recorded by the NCB officers under Section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The Supreme Court in a ruling last year had held that statements recorded under this provision were inadmissible as evidence in court and could not be treated as confessional statements.
“The charge sheet is a damp squib standing on the foundation of inadmissible evidence and statements recorded under section 67 of the NDPS Act even after the Supreme Court Judgement in Toofan Singh,” said Maneshinde.
The NCB has charged Rhea under Sec 27A of the NDPS Act which pertains to ‘financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders’. Referring to the Bombay HC’s order while granting Rhea bail, he said that the HC at the stage of bail had found no prima facie material of alleged financing of the drugs trade. “We will have the last laugh,” he said.
Regarding the charge sheet being voluminous, he said it was “expected” and added that “all efforts of the NCB were directed towards Rhea to somehow rope her in”.
Maneshinde said further that the entire amount of narcotic substances said to be recovered against the 33 Accused in the case is “nothing compared” to what even a constable in Mumbai Police or Narcotics Cell or the Airport Customs or other agencies recover from one raid or trap.
He remarked why the entire NCB “from top to bottom” was engaged in unearthing the drug angle in Bollywood, there is hardly any material against any known faces who were paraded during the investigations.
It may be recalled that actors Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan and Rakul Preet Singh had been summoned and questioned by the NCB during its probe.