Witch-hunt, it is nothing short of it. What started out as an investigation into the death by suicide of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June became a case that had the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) interested, which eventually led to the arrest of Sushant’s girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, and her brother Showik in September. The Bombay High Court granted bail to the actress in the drug case today, while the same was denied for Showik.
In her bail plea, Rhea had claimed that Sushant was the only consumer of drugs and his friends and staff members only procured it for him.
Rhea’s bail amount has been set at Rs 1 lakh and it comes with a few caveats. She has to deposit her passport, report every 10 days to the Mumbai police, cannot leave the country or meet up any witnesses.
The NCB had argued that celebrities and role models should be treated harshly so that it sets an example for the younger generation and they do not commit offences.
Justice Sarang Kotwal who passed the orders said that Rhea is not a part of the chain of drug dealers and has not procured the drugs to earn monetary or other benefits.
“Since she has no criminal antecedents, there are reasonable grounds for believing that she is not likely to commit any offence while on bail,” said the judge. He also disagreed with the NCB’s argument about celebrities who commit offences. He added- ”Everybody is equal before the law.”
Many celebrities and journalists came out in support of Rhea via Twitter:
Court says no basis for such Observation ! And that girls spent weeks in jail ! Slow claps for the custodians of culture and warriors of justice who got trashed by court.
And our courts still know what dignity is 🙏🏼 https://t.co/7cO9egOr6b
— taapsee pannu (@taapsee) October 7, 2020
#RheaChakraborty finally gets bail after a month. She has been the subject of utmost misogynistic vilification, led by some of our major TV news channels ( some of whom tried and trying to change track midway).
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) October 7, 2020
Any shrill anchors apologising for the hell they put #RheaChakraborty and her family through? Didn’t think so. But watch them shift the goalpost now .. they’re notorious for that. https://t.co/4VGkKNn1GR
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) October 7, 2020
Rhea’s lawyer also released an official statement which read: ”We are delighted by the order of the Hon’ble High Court granting bail to Rhea Chakraborty. Truth and Justice has prevailed and ultimately the submissions on facts and law have been accepted by Justice Sarang V Kotwal. The arrest and custody of Rhea was totally unwarranted and beyond the reach of the law. The hounding and witch hunt by three central agencies- the CBI, ED and NCB, of Rhea, should come to an end. We remain committed to the truth. Satyameva Jayate.”
Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his Bandra flat on June 14 this year. The initial reports suggested that he had killed himself because of Depression.The media took over the trial by accusing his aides of murdering him for monetary gain. While the cops didn't provide any evidence of Rhea’s involvement in Sushant’s death, the accusation veered towards her being a part of a drug syndicate. The only proof they had were Whatsapp chats where conversations indicate that she was procuring drugs for him.
In the latest forensic report from AIIMS, Rajput’s death has been declared as a case of suicide. The medical report matches the claims made by the CBI that investigated in his house.
(Edited by Athira Nair)