Bombay, November 22
A Mumbai court on Sunday detained comedian Bharti Singh and husband Harsh Limbachiya, arrested by the Drug Control Bureau after seizing drugs from their home until December 4.
A court will consider their requests for bail on Monday.
KBC arrested Singh and her husband on Saturday early Sunday morning after seizing ganja (cannabis) from their home in the Andheri suburbs.
The couple were brought to a justice of the peace on Sunday afternoon.
“The court will keep both defendants in custody until December 4,” KBC prosecutor Atul Sarpande told PTI.
The couple filed for bail through Ayaz Khan’s attorney shortly after their arrest by the court. The magistrates’ court would consider bail requests on November 23.
The KBC asked to detain Limbachiyas for questioning but did not ask for Singhs custody and told the court that it could be sent to court.
Khan argued that there was no question of a hearing because the alleged recovered substance was less than the “small amount” provided for in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS).
The judge accepted the arguments and noted that a detention hearing was not required and that the accused had already been questioned for a long time on Saturday.
Singh and Limbachiyaa are accounted for under sections 20 (b) (ii) (A) (low drug count) and 8 (c) (drug possession) and 27 (drug use) of the NDPS Act.
“Under these sections, the penalty ranges from six months to one year. This is not a case where the accused has to be kept behind bars. I am surprised that NCBs take this arrest action in cases where the quantity (seized) is less than a certain small quantity. KBC’s mandate is bigger, said Khan PTI.
In their bail applications, Singh and Limbachiya tried to be released, claiming that they had no criminals and therefore there was no question of their escape.
When asked about KBC’s claims that both Singh and Limbachiya agreed to take drugs, Khan said: Any statement allegedly made to KBC or any of its officials is inadmissible, according to a recent Supreme Court ruling.
Acting on the notification, KBC conducted a search of Singh’s office and residence on Saturday as part of an investigation into alleged drug use in the entertainment industry.
Up to 1,000 grams of ganja is considered a small amount, leading to a prison sentence of up to six months and / or a fine of Rs 10,000. Possession of a commercial quantity – 20 kg or more – can face up to 20 years in prison. For that amount, the sentence could amount to up to 10 years in prison, the official said.
“Singh’s name came up during an interrogation of a drug dealer,” the official said.
She has appeared in numerous comedy and reality TV shows, and has hosted several such shows.
KBC investigated alleged drug use in Bollywood following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June of this year based on WhatsApp drug chats.
Central agency arrested Rajput’s girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, several employees of the deceased movie star and several others under various sections of the act.
Rhea Chakraborty and several other defendants were released on bail by the Mumbai Supreme Court in October. The Supreme Court rejected Showik’s application for bail. – PTI