Former Dharmatic Entertainment (the digital arm of Dharma Productions) employee Kshitij Prasad, who was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau on Saturday after questioning in the drugs probe linked to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, has alleged that he was "forced to falsely implicate" filmmaker Karan Johar and his other top executives in the case, reports NDTV.
"NCB officers said they would let me off if I implicated either Karan Johar, Somel Mishra, Rakhi, Apoorva (Mehta), Neeraj or Rahil," Prasad’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde told a Mumbai court on Sunday, NDTV reported.
The investigating officers "asked me to falsely allege that they consumed drugs," he said. "I refused to comply with this despite the pressure being mounted on me as I did not know any of these people personally... and I did not wish to falsely implicate anyone," Mr Prasad was quoted as saying.
Prasad was picked up by a team of NCB sleuths, led by its zonal director Sameer Wankhede, from his residence in suburban Versova on Friday. He was questioned at the Ballard Estate office of the NCB. "After his arrest on Saturday, he was taken for medical tests, including for COVID-19, at the hospital," an official told news agency PTI.
Prasad's name cropped up during the NCB's wider probe. On Friday, NCB had also questioned Anubhav Chopra, who was once associated with Dharma Productions, in relation to the drug-nexus in the Hindi film industry.
In a statement issued on Friday, director-producer Karan Johar said Prasad had joined Dharmatic Entertainment, sister concern of Dharma Productions, in November 2019 as one of the executive producers on a contract basis for a project, which eventually did not materialise. Johar added that Chopra was briefly associated with his banner as an assistant director and worked only on two projects.
"He was briefly associated with us for only two months in the capacity of 2nd assistant director for a film, between November 2011 and January 2012 and as assistant director for the short film in January 2013. He has thereafter never been associated with Dharma Productions for any other project," the director had said.