Mumbai: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) continued its crackdown on the film and entertainment industry on Saturday and arrested comedian Bharti Singh (36), and detained her screenwriter and producer husband Haarsh Limbachiyaa,33, in a drug case.
Bharti’s arrest followed after raids since Saturday morning at the residence and production office of the couple located in western suburbs of the city. The teams headed by NCB’s zonal director for Mumbai and Goa Sameer Wankhede began searches early morning based on tip offs over possession and consumption of banned narcotics substances.
The search which was conducted in presence of independent witnesses resulted in recovery of 86.5 grams of marijuana, specified as small quantity. In the case of marijuana also known as cannabis, a small quantity which is up to 1 kilogram, carries rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, which may extend to Rs 10,000 or with both under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1986 (NDPS Act).
Following the searches, the couple was brought to NCB’s Ballard Estate office in separate vehicles on Saturday afternoon where they were questioned for about six hours. Post her questioning, Bharti was placed under arrest and Haarsh was questioned at the time of going to press. “Both Bharti and her husband Harsh accepted consumption of marijuana. She was placed under arrest as per the provisions of NDPS act,” said an officer privy to the investigation.
Bharti will be produced before a holiday court on Sunday. In a separate case, the agency raided a premise in Khardanda area on Saturday morning and nabbed a trafficker who is aged 21 years. The agency recovered with various drugs from his possession such as 15 blots of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) which is specified as commercial quantity, marijuana (40 grams) and nitrazepam (psychotropic medicines).
Singh has participated in comedy shows, reality shows and has hosted several awards.
In further follow up action, the agency has also arrested two persons in a case related to seizure of mephedrone (MD). Earlier, film producer Firoz A Nadiadwala and actor Arjun Rampal were questioned by the agency after searches were conducted at their residences. The agency has arrested Firoz’s wife Saeed in a drug case. The NCB has been scanning the alleged network of several drug peddlers with high profile personalities which is seen as an extended probe in the case linked with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The agency has also kept a close watch on the drug peddling activity in areas in western suburbs such as Andheri, Khar, Bandra, Santacruz and Juhu, which is home to several Bollywood and entertainment personalities.