Rhea Chakraborty gets bail; brother Showik will remain in jail
Nearly a month after she was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), that is investigating the drug abuse angle in the death case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty was granted bail by the Bombay High Court on Wednesday. The bail plea of her brother Showik was, however, rejected. Just yesterday, their judicial custody was extended till October 20.
After Sushant passed away, family had blamed Rhea
Days after Sushant was found dead at his Mumbai home on June 14 — his family in Bihar leveled serious allegations against Rhea. She was accused of siphoning off funds and administering drugs to him. The family was also displeased with Mumbai Police's probe; after a concerted online and offline campaign, the Supreme Court handed over the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Context: WhatsApp chats hinted at drug angle, NCB joined probe
Rhea, who was in a relationship with the deceased actor, was accused of procuring banned substances like marijuana and being in touch with drug peddlers. NCB joined the sensational case, already being probed by CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED), after retrieved chats hinted toward drug abuse. The agency also summoned Bollywood biggies like Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, and Sara Khan.
Last month, Rhea spoke of Sushant's addiction in bail plea
Last month, Rhea had filed a bail plea, solely blaming Sushant for exploiting people close to him to sustain his drug habit. She claimed Sushant was careful enough not to leave a paper trail and "thought it fit to expose" people close to him to the perils that his actions would entail. The 28-year-old celebrity also slammed the "witch-hunt" she was subjected to.
Prosecution hasn't furnished credible evidence other than blaming Rhea: Plea
"The prosecution surprisingly has not disclosed a single phone call, mobile call, SMS, WhatsApp message or email of Sushant Singh Rajput as to how he procured his drugs for his own consumption, rather than blaming his entire staff, Rhea, and Showik," the plea read.
Putting speculations to rest, AIIMS panel declared Sushant wasn't murdered
Meanwhile, the case, which dominated headlines for months, came at a new juncture last week when an AIIMS panel declared that Sushant wasn't murdered, but died by suicide. Led by Dr. Sudhir Gupta, the team was tasked with a re-examination of the autopsy, other medical reports, and the crime scene. Dr. Gupta said the seven-member team arrived at the conclusion after assessing all angles.
CBI didn't find "suspicious" transactions in Sushant's accounts, either
Moreover, CBI, which is probing the "abetment of suicide" angle, has not found conclusive evidence to suggest that Rhea drove the actor to suicide for "financial gains." A forensic audit of Sushant's accounts revealed that of Rs. 70 crore in transactions, an expenditure of Rs. 55 lakh was linked to Rhea, reports IE. Sushant's father had earlier claimed Rhea cheated him of Rs. 15 crore.
CBI is probing other angles to the suicide
"Rhea continues to be under scanner for abetment to suicide. But it is true CBI hasn't yet found any motive for abetment. There is nothing concrete in the audit report to suggest that she siphoned off funds," an official told the daily.
Rhea asked to submit passport, mark presence at police station
Welcoming Bombay HC's verdict, Rhea's lawyer Satish Maneshinde said truth and justice prevailed. "The submissions on facts and law have been accepted by Justice Sarang V Kotwal," he added. While granting a reprieve, HC ordered Rhea to submit Rs. 1 lakh as bond and mark her attendance daily at the nearest police station for ten days after release. She was barred from flying abroad.