Mumbai, November 22nd
A Mumbai court on Sunday returned comedian Bharti Singh and wife Harsha Limbachiyu, who were arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau after drug seizures from their home here, to court custody until December 4th.
The court will hear their bail applications on Monday.
The NCB arrested Singh on Saturday and her husband early Sunday morning after taking ganja (cannabis) from their home in the suburb of Andheri.
The couple was brought before a misdemeanor court here on Sunday afternoon.
“The court kept both defendants in court custody until December 4,” NCB prosecutor Atul Sarpande told PTI.
The couple applied for bail through attorney Ayaz Khan shortly after he was held in custody. The misdemeanor court will rule on bail applications on Nov. 23.
The NCB requested custody of Limbachiyas for questioning, but did not seek custody of Singhs and told the court that she could be sent to court custody.
Khan argued that detention in question was out of the question because the substance was allegedly found to be less than the “small amount” prescribed by the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS).
The judge accepted the arguments and noted that the custody examination was not necessary and that the accused had been questioned for a long time on Saturday.
Singh and Limbachiyaa are reserved under sections 20 (b) (ii) (A) (includes a small amount of drugs) and 8 (c) (drug possession) and 27 (drug consumption) of the NDPS Act.
“According to these sections, the sentence is six months to one year. This is not the case when the accused should be kept behind bars. I am surprised that the NCB takes such an arrest action in cases where the quantity (seized) is less than the prescribed small amount. it’s bigger than this, Khan told PTI.
In their pleas for bail Singh and Limbachiya asked for release saying they had no previous offenses and therefore there was no talk of their escape.
Asked about the NCBs claiming that both Singh and Limbachiya agreed to consume drugs, Khan said: Any statement allegedly made before the NCB or any of its officials is inadmissible according to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court .
According to the report, the NCB conducted a search of the alleged use of drugs in the entertainment industry on Saturday at Singh’s office and residence.
Up to 1,000 gm ganja is considered a small amount, which attracts imprisonment for up to six months and / or a fine of 10,000 Rs. Possessing a commercial quantity – 20 kg or more – can lead to up to 20 years in prison. For the amount in between, the sentence could be as much as 10 years in prison, one official said.
“Singh’s name appeared during the interrogation of the drug dealer,” the official said.
She has appeared in numerous comedy and reality programs on TV, and has hosted several such shows.
The NCB is investigating alleged drug use in Bollywood following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June this year based on WhatsApp chats involving drugs.
The central agency has arrested Rajput’s girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, some employees of the late movie star and several others under various sections of the Act.
The Bombay High Court in October granted bail to Rhei Chakraborty and several other defendants. The High Court rejected Showik’s bail application. – PTI