Ankita Lokhande joins campaign global prayer for Sushant Singh Rajput

News Network
August 14, 2020

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New Delhi, Aug 14: Actor Ankita Lokhande on Friday pitched in her support for a global 24-hour spiritual and prayer observation for late Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput.

Lokhande, the 'Kai Po Che!' actor's former girlfriend, shared on Instagram a poster that invited everyone to observe a collective minute of silence and prayer at 10 am tomorrow (August 15) in remembrance of Rajput.

Alongside the poster, as she invited everyone to join for the prayer, the 35-year-old actor wrote: "It's already two months Sushant and I know you are happy wherever you are."

In another subsequent Instagram post, and also in Twitter, Lokhande wrote about the campaign where she urged everyone to post a picture of them with folded hands, as a mark of support in demanding justice to the departed soul.

"Let's Pray together for truth to shine forth and for God to guide us," she wrote.

Earlier, on August 13, Lokhande along with other actors including Kriti Sanon and Kangana Ranaut demanded a CBI inquiry into the case of death of Rajput.

While Ankita shared a video message on Instagram in this regard, the 'Raabta' actor shared an official statement demanding CBI inquiry in the matter.

"The nation wants to know what happened with Sushant Singh Rajput. Justice for Sushant, CBI for SSR," said Lokhande in the video message.

Kriti, on the other hand, took to her Instagram stories and penned down a note stating that she wished that CBI takes over the case so that it gets investigated without any political agendas.

"I pray that the Truth comes out SOON.., His family, his friends, fans, and all loved ones deserve this closure," she wrote.

While actor Kangana Ranaut also demanded a CBI inquiry in the case by putting out a video message of herself.

Rajput was found dead in his Mumbai's Bandra residence on June 14 triggering debates on several media platforms.

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News Network
September 23,2020

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Mumbai, Sept 23: Actress Rhea Chakraborty, arrested in a drugs case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death, has said in her bail plea filed in the Bombay High Court that she is innocent and NCB is "deliberately" trying to invoke stringent charges against her and her family.

She also said that she has been subjected to a "witch-hunt".

In her bail application filed in the HC on Tuesday, Chakraborty said she is just 28 years of age, and besides the probe by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), she has been subjected to three more investigations by police and central agencies, and a "simultaneous media trial".

These probes refer to the ones conducted into Rajput's death by the Mumbai Police, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Chakraborty said all of this has taken a "severe toll on her mental health and well being".

Any further custody will worsen her mental health, she said in her plea filed through her counsel Satish Maneshinde.

Her bail plea was scheduled to be heard by a single bench presided over by Justice Sarang Kotwal on Wednesday.

However, since the High Court suspended the day's hearings owing to heavy rains in the city, the plea is likely to be heard on Thursday.

Chakraborty further said in her plea that Rajput had been in the habit of consuming drugs, particularly, "ganja" since even before she got into a relationship with him.

While she would sometimes procure drugs for him in "small quantities", and would also "occasionally pay for them herself," she was in no way a part of any drug syndicate.

She also said Rajput was the only one who was consuming the said drugs.

"The applicant (Chakraborty) is innocent and has not committed any crime whatsoever," the plea said.

She also said in her plea that she has been subjected to a "witch-hunt," and after the CBI and the ED failed to gather any evidence against her, the NCB was "brought in to somehow implicate her and her family".

Chakraborty has been booked by the NCB on several charges, including financing illicit trafficking of drugs under Section 27-A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act.

Section-27 A brings along a bar on the grant of bail to an accused.

The actor said she has been wrongly booked under the NDPS Act Section 27-A.

Besides, since no drugs were seized from her possession and since the NCB has managed to seize only 59 grams of drugs from all accused persons, the bar on grant of bail cannot be applied to her, she said in the plea.

The actress said a bar on grant of bail can come into play only if the drugs seized are in commercial quantities.

Last week, a similar argument was made by lawyers of Samuel Miranda and Dipesh Sawant, co-accused in the case, before a bench of Justice Kotwal.

Justice Kotwal had then pointed out that a plain reading of the NDPS Act showed Section 27-A could be imposed irrespective of the quantum of drugs recovered by the NCB.

He had, however, directed Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who represent the NCB in the high court, to clarify the same on September 29, the next date of hearing on the bail pleas of Miranda and others.

Chakraborty said some others accused in the case had faced identical allegations, but they had not been booked under the stringent Section 27-A.

She also said that at best, she can be accused of having procured drugs in small amounts for her boyfriend.

However, she was trying her best to wean Rajput off his habit of consuming drugs, the actress said.

Besides, if Rajput was alive today, he would have been charged merely for consumption of drugs and would have invited a maximum sentence of just one year, while she has been charged under sections imposing a maximum sentence of up to 20 years, Chakraborty said in the plea.

On a similar argument last week on the other pleas, Justice Kotwal pointed out that the NDPS Act adopts an "empathetic approach" towards the drug addict with view towards his rehabilitation.

However, it aims at ending all illicit trafficking of drugs and therefore, carries stringent punishment for those involved in procurement, financing and production of drugs.

Earlier this month,a special NDPS court in the city rejected the bail pleas of the actress and her brother Showik Chakraborty, saying if let out on bail, they might tamper with the evidence.

The actress is currently lodged in the Byculla women's prison in the city.

Rajput (34) was found hanging in his home in suburban Bandra on June 14.

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Agencies
September 22,2020

 

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Mumbai, Sept 22: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has summoned actor Deepika Padukone's manager Karishma Prakash and a talent management agency's CEO Dhurv Chitgopekar in connection with its probe into the alleged Bollywood-drug nexus, an official said on Tuesday.

Both of them will be questioned by the NCB on Tuesday afternoon, he said.

Chitgopekar is the CEO of KWAN talent management agency and Karishma Prakash is employed with the agency, the official said.

During the NCB's investigation into the drugs angle in actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death case, a wider drugs nexus in Bollywood surfaced.

Rajput's talent manager Jaya Saha was questioned by the NCB on Monday.

During her questioning, the NCB got information about many persons allegedly having an active role in the Bollywood-drug nexus, the official said.

Some WhatsApp chats of the persons who were questioned earlier by the NCB suggested discussion about drugs, he said.

The NCB has so far arrested more than 12 people, including Rajput's girlfriend and actress Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty, in connection with the probe into the drugs angle in the case of the actor's death.

Rajput (34) was found hanging at his home in Bandra area here on June 14.

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Agencies
September 14,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 14: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided not to go ahead with any regulatory intervention on Over-the-Top (OTT) communication.

In its recommendations for the OTT services released on Monday, TRAI noted that it is "not an opportune moment to recommend a comprehensive regulatory framework for various aspects of services referred to as OTT services, beyond the extant laws and regulations prescribed presently."

It added that the matter may be looked into afresh when more clarity emerges in international jurisdictions, particularly the study undertaken by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The authority recommended that market forces may be allowed to respond to the situation without prescribing any regulatory intervention.

The regulator, however, said that the developments shall be monitored and intervention as felt necessary shall be made at appropriate time.

It also said that no regulatory interventions are required with respect to issues related to privacy and security of OTT services at the moment.

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