NCB files draft charges against Rhea Chakraborty and others in drugs case

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The Narcotics Control Bureau on Wednesday filed draft charges against actor Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik Chakraborty and others in connection with a drugs case that was filed following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in 2020, PTI reported.

After draft charges are filed in any case, the court hears arguments on them and determines whether any of them are to be framed or dropped based on prima facie evidence mentioned in the chargesheet against the accused.

Once the court decides to frame charges, the accused persons are then asked to plead guilty or not guilty. In case they plead guilty, a sentence is announced, and if not, a trial commences.

On Wednesday, Special Public Prosecutor Atul Sarpande said that the prosecution has kept all charges against the accused persons as mentioned in the chargesheet filed in March last year.

He said that the court was scheduled to frame charges against the accused persons but could not do so as some of them have moved pleas to relieve them of the charges.

“The court said that the charges would be framed only after the discharge pleas are decided,” Sarpande said, according to PTI.

The court will hear the matter next on July 12.

The case

Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai apartment on June 14, 2020 in what the police initially said appeared to be a case of suicide. But subsequently Rajput’s family filed a complaint with the Bihar Police accusing his former live-in partner Chakraborty of abetment of suicide. She denied the allegation.

Three central agencies – the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate, the Narcotics Control Bureau – took up cases against her.

Chakraborty was eventually arrested for consuming drugs. She was granted bail on October 7, 2020 after a court observed that the actor was not part of any drug syndicate and had no criminal record. It said Chakraborty could not have financed or supported illegal drug trafficking as alleged by the narcotics agency.

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