'Maal' didn't mean drugs: Deepika Padukone tells NCB officials

Updated: 27 September, 2020 07:00 IST | Vishal Singh | Mumbai

Actor questioned on same day as Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor; agency makes one arrest

Deepika Padukone was questioned for five-and-a-half hours at the NCB Guest House. Pic/Atul Kamble
Deepika Padukone was questioned for five-and-a-half hours at the NCB Guest House. Pic/Atul Kamble

Actors Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan were called in for questioning in the drugs case by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Saturday. All the three summoned actors have denied consumption or procuring of drugs from anyone. The NCB, however, has revealed that they haven't given a clean chit to any of the actors and indicated that they all could be summoned for questioning again.

Padukone reached the NCB Guest House at 9.50 am, while Kapoor and Khan were questioned at the NCB's office in the afternoon. NCB's SIT questioned Padukone for around five-and-a-half hours, first individually and later, cross-examined her with manager Karishma Prakash about the 2017 chats.

In the interrogation, she admitted that she indeed was part of the chat in question. In the chat, Padukone asked Karishma whether there is "maal?" NCB wanted to know the meaning of this "maal" mentioned by Padukone. Sources said that the actor maintained that the "maal" being referred to, was not drugs.

Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan were called in for questioning at the NCB’s office on Saturday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Shraddha Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan were called in for questioning at the NCB’s office on Saturday. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Kapoor was summoned for interrogation after her alleged chats with Sushant Singh Rajput's former manager Jaya Saha surfaced during the NCB investigation. Kapoor, who worked with Rajput in Chhichhore, told the NCB that a party was held at the actor's farm house in Pavana, but she did not consume drugs there. NCB also showed Kapoor her alleged 'drug chat' with Saha, but she hasn't given any clear answer to that, said sources.

Khan has also denied allegations of taking drugs and also denied knowing any drug peddlers. During interrogation, she told NCB officials that during the shooting of Kedarnath in February 2018, she and Rajput had become good friends. After the shooting of the film, she visited his home at Capri Heights in Bandra. She even went to his farm house in Pavana several times. She smoked cigarettes, but never took drugs. Rajput, however, smoked weed on the farm house on a few occasions.

When contacted, Mutha Jain, deputy director general of NCB, said, "They have been interrogated. So far, no one has been summoned to come again. In this case many people have been questioned, many have been arrested. Whatever we have received so far, we will present it in court and then take further action."

An NCB source said, "So far, 35 people have been questioned and 19 people have been arrested. All three actors have denied consuming drugs, but no one has been given a clean chit."

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First Published: 27 September, 2020 07:03 IST

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