Drugs Case: Now, Deepika Padukone and manager under NCB scanner

Updated: 23 September, 2020 08:11 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

Drug police continue to expand scope of probe that started with Sushant Singh Rajput's death, once again on the basis of WhatsApp chats

Deepika Padukone (centre) at Delhi's JNU to express solidarity with the students attacked by a masked mob on the campus on January 7. ABVP, RSS's student wing, was accused of carrying out the attack. File pic
Deepika Padukone (centre) at Delhi's JNU to express solidarity with the students attacked by a masked mob on the campus on January 7. ABVP, RSS's student wing, was accused of carrying out the attack. File pic

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), investigating the alleged drug syndicate in Bollywood, on Tuesday summoned Deepika Padukone's talent manager Karishma Prakash for allegedly procuring drugs for the actress. The officers said they will soon question Padukone as well.

Karishma Prakash, who is associated with KWAN talent management, was named by Jaya Saha — former talent manager of the later Sushant Singh Rajput — who was questioned by the NCB officers at their guest house in South Mumbai for the second consecutive day on Tuesday.

File photo of Deepika Padukone with JNU students attacked on the campus by a mob in January
File photo of Deepika Padukone with JNU students attacked on the campus by a mob in January

"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.

WhatsApp chats

The NCB officers said Prakash was summoned on the basis of alleged WhatsApp chats between her and Padukone. In the conversation that NCB says took place on October 28, 2017, Padukone allegedly asked her manager to procure 'hash' for her.

Padukone greets president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s students’ union Aishe Ghosh who had sustained head injuries in the attack
Padukone greets president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University’s students’ union Aishe Ghosh who had sustained head injuries in the attack

The NCB says, according to the texts exchanged between the two on a WhatsApp group of which Saha was also a part, Padukone asked Prakash if she had 'maal'. Her manager told her that 'Amit' is 'carrying' hash. The chat also mentioned one other name — Shal.

They were planning to meet at KOKO, a restarurant at Kamala Mills Compund in Lower Parel, according to the chats. "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 an NCB officer.

Need to identify others

The NCB has already said that they will record the statements of actresses Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet and Shraddha Kapoor, and fashion designer Simmone Khambata next week. Agency sources also said that some of the drug peddlers arrested in the case have named actress Dia Mirza as well. She has refuted the allegation.

Meanwhile, actress Rhea Chakraborty who is in judicial custody has filed a fresh bail application before the Bombay High Court. "Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty have filed an application for bail. Justice Sarang V Kotwal of the Bombay HC will hear their pleas on Wednesday, September 23," said Rhea's advocate Satish Maneshinde.

Sept 25
Day Padukone's manager will appear before NCB

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First Published: 23 September, 2020 05:27 IST

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