HC grants bail to peddler who supplied drugs to actor Sushant Singh Rajput
Bombay HC grants bail to Anuj Keshwani, arrested for allegedly supplying drugs to Sushant Singh Rajput, citing Supreme Court order and lengthy trial process.
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court (HC) on Friday granted bail to Anuj Keshwani who was arrested three years ago for allegedly supplying drugs to late actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
The case has been investigated by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) since 2020, after Rajput was found dead in his flat on June 14, 2020, during the nationwide lockdown. Keshwani, 31, a resident of Khar, was arrested in September 2020 on charges of drug peddling.
Allegations were made that Rajput was supplied drugs by those close to him, including his girlfriend, actor Rhea Chakraborty which led to a widespread crackdown by the central agency.
On August 28, 2020, the Mumbai zonal unit of the NCB registered an offence and arrested 36 persons, including Rhea Chakraborty, and her brother Showik.
During the probe, NCB found 585 grams of hashish, 0.62 grams of LSD sheets, 270 grams of marijuana, including imported marijuana joints and capsules, and ₹1.85 lakh in cash and some Indonesian currency.
He had moved to the high court on September 8 this year after the special NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) court rejected his bail plea, primarily contending that the prosecution had cited all 160 witnesses and he had already spent three years behind bars. Apart from highlighting non-compliance with certain mandatory provisions of the NDPS Act, 1985, his lawyer Ayaz Khan also pointed out that all other accused in the case, except Keshwani were granted bail.
The NCB opposed his bail plea contending that he was found in possession of a commercial quantity of drugs and therefore in view of rigours contained in section 37 of the NDPS Act, the accused cannot be granted bail. Besides, the agency pointed out that proceedings had also been initiated against him under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act, 1976.
A single judge bench of justice Makarand Karnik granted Keshwani bail primarily in view of the Supreme Court order of December 16, 2022, by which the court had granted bail to Jitendra Jain, another accused in the case against whom equally serious charges are levelled by the NCB.
“The accusations against the present applicant are serious in nature. However, I am enlarging him on bail in view of the order dated 16/12/2022 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” said justice Karnik. “The applicant is in custody for more than 3 years, the conclusion of the trial will take a long time,” the court added and ordered Keshwani to be released on furnishing a personal bond of ₹1 lakh and one or two sureties in the same amount.