Bombay High Court has granted bail to Rhea Chakraborty. The arguments in the matter were heard over seven days ago and now judgement is pronounced granting bail to her. There is a problem in the order.
Right to liberty is absolute:
As per the constitution, the right to liberty is absolute subject only to restrictions by a valid law. In this case the court took over seven days to decide, if Rhea Chakraborty was entitled to be free. Is that reasonable?
Justice delayed is justice denied:
I had pointed out that the requirement for bail under NDPS Act is very strict and it is almost a mini verdict on innocence. Section 37 of NDPS Act requires that the court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that s/he is not guilty of such offence. Now the judge has granted bail we have to assume that there was nothing on record to link her with the offence. We can not go into merits of the judgement. The reasons why Rhea should not be granted bail are already discussed here and I am surprised by the order which I have not read as yet.
Justice Sarang Vijaykumar Kotwal of Bombay High Court has delivered the verdict after deliberating for seven days. Here is the problem.
Drug laws in India are very strict. If prosecution makes out the foundation of charge against an accused, burden of proving innocence is upon the accused. The judge before granting bail has to assure itself that accused appears to be innocent. This position under NDPS law is different from ordinary laws of the land. (For more on Criminal Laws of India read my book here)
Bail in Narcotics case:
The exercise of power to grant bail by the Special Judge is not only subject to the limitations prescribed by Section 439 of Central Cr.P.C. but is also subject to the limitations prescribed by Sec.37 which opens with non-obstante clause. Under section 37 of the Act bail to an accused, who is alleged to have committed an offence under section 19, 24 or 27A and also for offences involving commercial quantity cannot be granted unless the two conditions enumerated in the section are satisfied.
The first condition is that the prosecution must be given an opportunity to oppose the application and second that the court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that s/he is not guilty of such offence. If either of these two conditions is not satisfied, bail cannot be granted.
Charges against Rhea Chakraborty:
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has alleged that actress Rhea Chakraborty (Rhea Chakraborty) was an active member of the drug syndicate, which included many well-known people and drug suppliers from high societies. NCB has said that Riya Chakraborty is accused of promoting drugs consumption by late actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
As expected bail applications of Rhea Chakraborty and co-accused persons have been rejected. The hype created their favour by various interested persons of movie industry and media has fizzled out.
For granting bail in narcotics matter, the judge has very little room especially in first six months. India has toughest law against drugs which has only recently been diluted to distinguish between dealer and mere user.
This is not a case of a casual user but regular peddlers, handlers and financiers.
Once the bail is rejected from High Court, NCB will be back in the game.
In High Court the accused persons may choose to file one application at a time for each accused seperately.
Today will be third day when Rhea Chakraverty (Chakroborty) will be visiting the office of Narcotic Control Bureau for investigation. Yesterday she came prepared for arrest with a suit case which carried herself into the office but she was disappointed and more so public is disappointed and every one is asking why she was not arrested?
Why arrest a person?
Arrest of a person is not a matter of punishment. Arrest during investigation is made to conduct custodial interrogation. It is used to assess the emotionally charged person and make him or her realize the vulnerability of situation and tell the truth. Actually this makes all the more reason to arrest Rhea Chakraverty and make her confess truth. Right? Actually it is not so simple. She is co-operating and answering all the questions and that makes her an obedient citizen. There may be many more legal reasons not to arrest but those can be read here in my book on Criminal Law in India. But here we are concerned with a practical problem arising due to personality of Rhea Chakraverty.
Let’s go deeper into the background of Rhea Chakraverty. She was born in 1992 in Bangaluru. Thus she is barely 28 years of age. It is not an age when one becomes CEO of a large corporation much less a conglomerate of Drug Mafia, as is being alleged by media. She is just an average young girl.
So what is special about Rhea Chakraverty?
Have you seen any movie of Rhea? I have not seen any movie but I would encourage every one to watch and see why every movie of her failed. She is a good looking girl. She wears fancy cloth. She has dress sense to wear hoodie yesterday to visit the office of NCB. She is said to have worked in eight movies. Though none was successful.
Why her movies bombed at box office?
This question is very important. The reason she is not being arrested is the same reason her movies were not successful.
The drugs angle may have appeared yesterday in the investigation into murder of Sushant Singh Rajput but the matter was proceeding on these lines for a week. Many couriers aka dealers were picked up from Thane, Pune and Mumbai in the week earlier and I had pointed it out yesterday hinting that now it is a fight of Center and DALDA.
Rhea appears on Television:
Yesterday when Rhea appeared on television in a convenient arrangement with an interviewer who hangs his loyality on his sleeves, it had a purpose. The purpose was to send message to the cadres of DALDA.
When ED/CBI came into picture it used the same stretegy to send shivers down the spine of cadres of DALDA by releasing a whatsapp chat that took place in 2017.
Now this was almost a revelation that every person who was involved in Drug trade in Maharashtra is vulnerable and under the watch. The object was to enlist somebody who was willing to become an approver. Now it was the turn of the DALDA.