The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) finally submitted a chargesheet in the NDPS (Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance) Court revolving around the demise of Sushant Singh Rajput. Today, NCB named 35 persons, including actress Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik, in a chargesheet filed before the special court in Mumbai.
Rajput’s former manager Samuel Miranda and household help Dipesh Sawant have also been named. Anuj Keshwani, who is accused of keeping a large number of drugs in his possession, has also been named in the chargesheet, out of which five people are absconding.
The nearly 12,000-page document includes the recorded statements of more than 200 witnesses. According to sources within the NCB, the chargesheet details how various drugs including synthetic narcotic substances were being procured at the highest level and then distributed across Mumbai through various hands.
On the morning of June 14, 2020, Sushant was found hanging at his rented duplex flat in a posh building in Bandra. His supposed suicide triggered a massive furore in Bollywood and political circles. A month after his demise, his father KK Singh filed a case against Rhea for abetment of suicide. He alleged that there was a misappropriation of funds. After that, the Enforcement Directorate began investigating the matter. In August 2020, the NCB registered two cases related to the drugs angle, which emerged during the investigations into Sushant’s death.
When they searched Rhea’s electronic data, it was revealed that she paid for some quantities of marijuana and bud for personal use. Based on that, Rhea and Showik were arrested. While Rhea spent a month in jail, Showik had to spend three months in the Taloja jail of Navi Mumbai. Various sources led to the arrest of a few big dealers from Mumbai's Dongri area.
Several top celebrities, including Deepika Padukone, Firoz Nadiadwala, and Shraddha Kapoor, were questioned during the investigation.
While Rhea, Showik and Sushant Singh Rajput’s staff — Samuel Miranda, Deepesh Sawant — are all out on bail, the agency arrested over 30 people in connection with this and several are in custody at present.
The NCB recorded statements of over 20 accused, leading to more arrests in the case to establish an alleged link between them to prove they were part of illicit drug trafficking. A Supreme Court judgment in October 2020 said that these couldn’t be the sole basis for convicting an accused. The NCB, however, maintains there is other corroborative evidence against the accused.
The Maharashtra government has repeatedly demanded that the CBI should make public the findings of the probe into Sushant’s death in the public interest.