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Friday,24-September-2021

Bollywood

NCB’s 12K-page charge sheet ‘damp squib’: Rhea Chakraborty’s lawyer

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Rhea-Chakraborty

Terming the voluminous 12,000-page charge sheet filed against Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and 31 others as “expected”, their lawyer Satish Maneshinde launched a sharp attack on the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), virtually accusing it of a witch-hunt, here on Saturday.

“All efforts of the NCB have been directed towards Rhea Chakraborty, to somehow rope her in. The entire NCB, from top to bottom was engaged in unearthing the drug angle in Bollywood,” Maneshinde said.

“The charge sheet is a damp squib standing on the foundation of inadmissible evidence and statements recorded under NDPS Act Sec. 67 even after the Supreme Court judgement in the Toofan Singh case. Without Rhea Chakraborty being charged, this case has no substance,” Maneshinde said.

Referring to the NCB’ contentions in the charge sheet that it has seized various narcotic drugs (Charas, Ganja, LSD, Ecstasy) and psychotropic substances (Alprazolam and Clonazepam), the lawyer rubbished the federal drug agency’s claims.

“The entire amount of ‘Narcotic Substances’ recovered against the 33 accused are nothing compared to what even a Constable in Mumbai Police or Narcotics Cell or the Airport Customs or other agencies recover from one raid or trap,” Maneshinde pointed out.

Moreover, he said there’s hardly any material against any known faces, who were paraded during the investigations, and wondered whether the allegations were false, or “only God knows the Truth”.

The lawyer added that even the Bombay High Court did not find prima facie material at the stage of bail of the ‘alleged’ financing of drugs trade, as claimed by the NCB.

Maneshinde’s strong reactions came a day after the NCB lodged its charge sheet — a 11,700-page plus more in electronic format — with the Special NDPS Court in Mumbai, signalling an end to the probe.

The NCB came into the picture in August 2020 after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) stumbled on the drugs aspect of its probe into the financial angles surrounding the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput on June 14 at his rented duplex in Bandra, Mumbai.

Besides Rhea and Showik, the NCB has named the late actor’s ex-manager Samuel Miranda, his domestic help Dipesh Sawant, a drug peddler Anuj Keshwani from whom commercial quantity of drugs like LSD sheets and Marijuana) were first recovered.

Also figuring in the charge sheet are two foreigners — actor Arjun Rampal’s South African girlfriend and model Gabriella Demetriades, her brother Agisilaos Demetriades, besides Kshitij Prasad, a former executive producer with Dharma Productions, and two collegians, said to be the last-mile peddlers.

“We will have the last laugh Satyameva Jayate,” an unfazed Maneshinde concluded.

Bollywood

I-T sleuths ‘search’ Sonu Sood’s home for second day

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 For the second consecutive day, the Income Tax Department continued its ‘survey’ operations at the home of Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, official sources said here on Thursday.

A team of IT sleuths swooped on the 48-year-old Sood’s Juhu home to carry out search operations to detect certain alleged financial irregularities.

The IT department is examining bank statements, books of accounts, documents and details of financial or other business transactions during the ‘survey’, for suspected tax evasion, though no details are being shared officially.

In Wednesday’s operations, the IT had searched around half-a-dozen premises linked to the actor, including offices and other properties in Mumbai and certain locations in Lucknow.

Sood shot into limelight last year (2020) for arranging free flights or luxury buses for stranded migrants during the lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic and sent them to different parts of India, besides organising liquid medical oxygen supplies to various hospitals during the second Covid wave this year (2021).

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IT department ‘surveys’ actor Sonu Sood’s Mumbai premises

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Actor Sonu Sood.

 The Income Tax Department is ‘surveying’ the Mumbai offices and home in the suburbs belonging to Bollywood actor Sonu Sood here on Wednesday, official sources said.

Teams of IT sleuths began the operations since morning, though the reason behind the action is not immediately known.

Sood had shot into prominence last year for arranging free flights to enable stranded migrants reach their homes in different parts of India during the nationwide lockdown.

He also had a scrap with the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for allegedly converting his six-story house in Juhu into an illegal boarding.

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Tahira Kashyap reveals how Ayushmann Khurrana won her heart

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Ayushmann-Khurrana

On Ayushmann Khurrana’s 37th birthday on Tuesday, his filmmaker-wife Tahira Kashyap revealed how the actor won her heart, when they both were just 19 years old.

Tahira on Tuesday shared a throwback picture on Instagram and penned a heart-warming note talking about how the actor wooed her.

“We were 19! I found you quite cool, with your frames, bike, matching sweaters and mufflers, but what got my heart was when you held the guitar and sang a song for me,” Tahira wrote.

She added: “You have always been passionate about art and what inspires me is after all these years your innocence and excitement towards work and life remains the same. You have been my biggest confidante and cheerleader.

“I might not be a big romantic as the goofiness (like you would say) gets the better of me, but I want to tell you that life is amazing with you and I continue learning a lot from you! Happy birthday umm P.S. – we were such lookers no.”

Ayushmann and Tahira were childhood sweethearts. The two got married in 2008. The couple welcomed their son Virajveer in 2012 and daughter Varushka in 2014.

Ayushmann’s upcoming roster includes ‘Anek’, ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’ and ‘Doctor G’.

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