The Narcotics Control Burau (NCB) has got actors Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh, and designer Simone Khambatta under the radar in the alleged drug syndicate case. On Tuesday, the agency summoned Padukone’s manager Karishma Prakash for allegedly procuring drugs for the actor. A report in Mid-Day quoted a senior NCB official confirming that it’s likely they will question Padukone soon on the basis of her manager’s statements.
The daily reported that Prakash has asked for a buffer time till September 25 due to ill health and the popular actor will be questioned after Prakash’s statements. “She (Prakash) didn’t join (the probe) citing ill health. She has sought exemption till September 25,” said NCB Deputy Director (Operations) K P S Malhotra.
Padukone’s name emerged in the WhatsApp group chats in which ‘D’ was asking ‘K’ for the hash. Prakash is associated with KWAN talent management agency that handles Padukone’s work. She was mentioned by Sushant Singh Rajput‘s former talent manager Jaya Saha in the second round of questioning on Tuesday by the NCB at their guest house in South Bombay.
The NCB official also confirmed that the WhatsApp chats in which Padukone is asking for ‘hash’ dates back to October 28, 2017. The anti-narcotics agency added that the texts exchanged between the actor and her manager show she had asked for ‘maal‘. Saha was also a part of the same WhatsApp chat group. Another person named ‘Shal’ was added to the group too. The NCB officer said that they will also find out the names of the other people added in the chat group.
“We will first record the statement of her manager to understand from where she procured the drugs and who are the other people mentioned in the WhatsApp chats. Then, we will decide on recording Padukone’s statement,” said the officer.
Meanwhile, after having an extension of judicial custody on Tuesday, actor Rhea Chakraborty, and her brother Showik Chakraborty have applied for fresh bail at the Bombay High Court. The actor’s advocate Satish Maneshinde said, “Rhea and her brother have filed an application for bail. Justice Sarang V Kotwal of the Bombay HC will hear their pleas on Wednesday, September 23.”
Both of them have been arrested by the NCB under Section 27A (financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders) of the NDPS act.