After spending nearly a month in jail, actress Rhea Chakraborty
was finally granted bail on Wednesday by the Bombay High Court
. Her bail plea was accepted with Rs 1 lakh as the bail bond.
Hours after her release from Byculla women’s prison, her lawyer Satish Maneshinde called her a ‘Bengali tigress’ during an interview with a news channel.
Describing how she spent her time in jail, Maneshinde said that the actress was in good spirits. He also said that Rhea conducted yoga classes for jail inmates and lived with them as a commoner.
He added that he had personally been to prison to see how she was doing.
“I personally went to jail to see a client after so many years, because she was hounded, and I wanted to see the condition that she was in. I was fortunate to see that she was in good spirits. She looked after herself in jail. She used to conduct yoga classes for herself and her jail inmates. She adjusted herself in jail because she could not get home food because of the pandemic, and she lived with the inmates as if she was a commoner. Being an army girl and having being brought up in the army atmosphere, she fought the conditions like a battle, and she is ready to face any person who is trying to accuse her and harm her interests,” Maneshinde said.
Meanwhile, the HC has listed strict bail conditions for Rhea. The court has asked her to present herself to a police station for a period of 10 days. She cannot leave the city and her passport has to be deposited.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which arrested Rhea on September 9 in course of its investigation into the drugs angle after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, had accused her of being an active member of a drug syndicate.
Rhea bail approval evoked reactions from several of her Bollywood friends. Celebrities like Farhan Akhtar, Taapsee Pannu, Anubhav Sinha and Huma Qureshi among others lauded the court’s decision.
Rhea Chakraborty: From a VJ and SSR’s girlfriend to alleged drug peddler
Rhea Chakraborty gets bail
Actress Rhea Chakraborty was granted bail by the Bombay High Court on Wednesday in connection with the drugs case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. However, Rhea’s brother Showik’s bail plea has been rejected. Rhea’s bail plea has been accepted with Rs 1 lakh bond. Her lawyer Satish Maneshinde said that he is delighted that Rhea has finally got bail. “We are delighted by the Order of the Bombay High Court granting bail to Rhea Chakraborty. Truth and Justice have prevailed and ultimately the submissions on facts and law have been accepted by Justice Sarang V Kotwal,” he wrote in a statement. Ever since Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at his Bandra apartment on June 14, Rhea has been constantly under the scanner. Sushant’s so-called fans further fuelled the theory of Rhea’s alleged involvement after Sushant’s family filed a case naming Rhea. Photo by Raju Shelar/MMCL
Chaos outside the jail
Hours after the court order, Rhea left the Byculla women’s prison around 5.30 pm in a car whose windows were masked with newspapers, while a mob of reporters and camerapersons gathered outside. Photo by Satish Malavade/MMCL
‘Rhea not part of the chain of drug dealers’
The court held that Rhea wasn’t a part of “the chain of drug dealers”—that she had neither financed drug trafficking nor had harboured late actor Sushant Singh Rajput while he allegedly consumed drugs. Justice Sarang Kotwal rejected both these claims made by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), calling them unreasonable. Drug financing, under Section 27A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, was the most stringent charge slapped against Chakraborty. Photo by Satish Malavade/MMCL
‘Rhea has no criminal antecedents’
On the drug financing allegation against Rhea, Justice Kotwal observed that a sale/purchase of a drug doesn’t necessarily mean that one has “financed” its trade. He said if the NCB’s interpretation of Section 27A were to be accepted, then one who consumes the drug could be punished for only up to a year or could claim immunity under Section 64A of the NDPS Act by volunteering to undergo treatment for addiction, but one who paid for the procurement could land behind bars for up to 20 years. “This is highly disproportionate and would be extremely unreasonable,” he said. He said the evidence gathered against Rhea at best showed that she had committed an offence involving contraband, but there was nothing to connect her to a “commercial quantity”. Pointing out that she had no criminal antecedents, he said, “She is not part of the chain of drug dealers. She has not forwarded the drugs allegedly procured by her to somebody else to earn monetary benefits.” Photo by Satish Malavade/MMCL
Strict bail conditions for Rhea
While laying out strict bail conditions for Rhea, who was arrested by the NCB on September 6, the court has asked her to present herself to a police station for a period of 10 days. She cannot leave the city and her passport has to be deposited.
Rhea Chakraborty was born into a Bengali family in Karnataka. Her father was an Indian Army officer. She did her schooling from Army Public School Ambala Cantt, Ambala. Rhea started her career as a VJ and in the year 2012, she made her film debut with the Telugu film Tuneega Tuneega.
In 2013, Rhea made her Bollywood debut with the film Mere Dad Ki Maruti, which also starred Saqib Saleem and Ram Kapoor in the lead roles. She then appeared in films like Sonali Cable, Jalebi, Dobaara, Half Girlfriend and Bank Chor. According to media reports, Rhea had auditioned for the role of Anushka Sharma in Band Baaja Baarat but was rejected. She also featured in a music video with Ayushmann Khurrana.
Relationship with Sushant Singh Rajput
Rhea and Sushant were in a relationship since 2019 after they met at a party. They even lived together and Sushant was planning to get married in the next year. However, they broke up one week before the sudden death of the actor. Although the duo had remained tight-lipped about their relationship, when Rhea had posted a picture with Sushant on his birthday this year, it spoke volumes. The two had been spotted numerous times together post-dinner dates and gym sessions and pictures and videos from their holiday trips have also gone viral in the past.
‘Witch-hunt by three central agencies’
Last month, Rhea had claimed before the Bombay HC that a witch hunt has been unleashed against her by three central investigating agencies. She also argued that the investigation conducted by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was illegal as it had no jurisdiction to investigate the drug link to the death of Sushant. Photo: ANI
When Rhea arrived at the NCB office earlier in the month of September, she was spotted wearing a black T-shirt with a slogan that read, ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, let’s smash the patriarchy, me and you. Later that day, following the news of her arrest and her being sent to judicial custody, this same message was posted by several Bollywood actors who had come out in her support. Photo by Satish Malavade/MMCL
The hounding of Rhea
Pictures of a visibly disturbed and helpless Rhea struggling to make her way through the horde of reporters and cameras and microphones emerged on September 8 outside the ED office. With raised elbows, Rhea tried to keep away the reporters from getting close to her, even as the security personnel struggled to keep the media at bay. Ever since her name emerged in relation to Sushant’s case, the witch-hunt has only intensified against the actress. Photo by Raju Shelar/MMCL