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Saturday,23-October-2021

Entertainment

Tollywood drugs case: Actor Tanish appears before Enforcement Directorate

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Enforcement Directorate

 Actor Tanish on Friday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with a money laundering probe linked to four-year-old drug case.

The actor reached the ED office around 10 a.m. in response to the summons issued by the agency.

The ED sleuths are likely to question him if he knew Calvin Mascarenhas, a musician and prime accused in the case and if attended parties held at ‘F’ Club, which was once owned by actor Navdeep. The actor may also be grilled about his financial transactions.

Tanish is the ninth person from Telugu film industry to appear before the ED since it began questioning on August 31 in money laundering probe in connection with a high-end drugs racket busted by Telangana’s prohibition and excise department.

So far the central agency has questioned Director Puri Jagannadh and actors Charmee Kaur, Rakul Preet Singh, Nandu, Daggubati Rana, Ravi Teja, Navdeep, Mumaith Khan. It also grilled Ravi Teja’s driver and aide Srinivas and a a former general manager of ‘F’ club.

The questioning was believed to be around their suspicious financial transactions with those involved in drug case.

The ED had last month issued notices to about a dozen people connected to Tollywood as part of a money laundering probe linked to the case related to the smuggling of ‘Class A’ narcotic substances, including LSD and MDMA.

The ED officials have been summoning Calvin Mascarenhas and other accused for questioning parallel to the questioning of Tollywood personalities.

The drugs racket was busted on July 2, 2017 when customs officials arrested Calvin Mascarenhas, a musician, and two others and seized drugs worth Rs 30 lakh from their possession.

They had reportedly told the investigators that they are supplying drugs to film celebrities, software engineers, and even students of some corporate schools. Mobile numbers of some Tollywood celebrities were allegedly found in their contact lists.

The excise department had constituted SIT for a comprehensive probe. A total of 12 cases were registered, 30 people were arrested while 62 individuals including 11 people connected with Tollywood were examined by the SIT under section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and section 161 of Criminal Procedure Code.

An American, a South African and a Netherlands national were among those arrested.

The SIT had collected blood, hair, nail and other samples from some of those who appeared before it for question and sent them for analysis.

The SIT filed chargesheet in eight out of 12 cases. It, however, gave clean chit to the film personalities who were questioned as part of the investigation.

Entertainment

Samantha could simply seek apology rather than filing defamation cases

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Samantha-Ruth-Prabhu

 South India’s most happening actress Samantha Ruth Prabhu, who recently filed defamation cases against a couple of YouTube channels and an individual for streaming malignant content about her, has apparently received a legal blow.

Samantha had filed legal cases, which come under Kukatpally court in Hyderabad. After listening to her side of the case, the court apparently ordered that the actress could simply seek an apology from her opponents, rather than filing defamation cases.

“The actress can seek a word of apology from the content owners of the concerned YouTube channels, individuals and media outlets, rather than filing defamation cases on them,” the court suggested, as per reports.

The court went on to school the actress and apparently indicated that celebrities share personal details on public domain and then file defamation suits.

“In court, everyone is equal before the law. There is no sense of some being high and others being low. We will hear Samantha’s case as per the procedure,” the court concluded.

Samantha’s announcement about her divorce from Naga Chaitanya had invited unwanted comments and speculation about their relationship, and some channels went forward and linked her up with random colleagues.

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Crime

NCB ‘visits’ SRK, Ananya Pandey’s homes; conducts raids in Andheri

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Ananya-Panday

In a major development, teams of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) paid a formal ‘visit’ to the residences of Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan in Bandra west, and actress Ananya Panday in Khar west, and raided a location in Andheri on Thursday as part of the ongoing probe into the October 2 luxury cruiser rave party.

“The NCB Mumbai Zonal Unit officials visited ‘Mannat’, the residence of Aryan Khan in connection with the (Cr.94/21 case) for seeking certain material related to the investigation of the case from Shah Rukh Khan, by following due procedure of notice, etc.,” said NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede in a statement later.

He also dismissed reports in sections of the media dubbing the NCB trip to the superstar’s sea-facing bungalow as a ‘raid’.

The development, which grabbed national attention, came shortly after the Bombay High Court this morning decided to take up his son Aryan Khan’s bail plea on next Tuesday, October 26.

Simultaneously, Ananya Panday — daughter of Bollywood actor Chunky Panday and granddaughter of the renowned heart surgeon, the late Dr. Sharad Panday — has been summoned to the NCB offices this day for the probe and the actress.

The NCB has claimed that her name apparently figures in some WhatsApp chats of Aryan Khan recovered by the agency, along with others.

As part of its probe into the cruise ship party raids, the NCB has arrested a total of 20 persons so far, and more arrests are not ruled out.

It may be recalled that Nationalist Congress Party National Spokesperson and Minister Nawab Malik had last week claimed that among various Bollywood bigwigs targeted, Shah Rukh Khan was also on the radar of the central probe agency with sleuths keeping a watch on ‘Mannat’ in recent weeks.

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Bollywood

Bombay HC to hear Aryan Khan’s bail plea on Oct 26

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The Bombay High Court on Thursday posted to October 26 the hearing of the bail application of Aryan Khan, arrested in a drugs case by the Narcotics Control Bureau.

The matter came up before Justice N.W. Sambre with Khan’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde seeking urgent hearing on Friday or Monday.

However, Justice Sambre decided to take up the matter on Tuesday next, and Aryan Khan may have to spend five more days in custody.

Khan, the son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, has challenged a ruling of the Special NDPS Court on Wednesday, rejecting his bail plea, along with co-accused Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha.

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