SC grants bail to Kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi in Sandalwood drugs case

Ragini Dwivedi had challenged a Karnataka High Court order rejecting her bail appeal on 3 November

Press Trust of India January 21, 2021 13:55:48 IST
SC grants bail to Kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi in Sandalwood drugs case

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 21 January granted bail to Kannada film actress Ragini Dwivedi in the drugs racket case.

A bench of justices R F Nariman, Navin Sinha and K M Joseph set aside the 3 November order of the Karnataka High Court refusing to grant bail to Dwivedi and others in the case registered under various provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

During the hearing conducted through video conferencing, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra appearing for Dwivedi said the 31-year-old actress is in jail while three other co-accused are on bail.

He said that on 2 September last year, acting on information allegedly received by the police, she was arrested but no recovery of contraband was made from her.

Luthra said it was alleged that she was involved in the financing of the drugs network but there was no evidence besides the accusations of consumption of banned ecstasy drugs.

He referred to various case laws and said, bail could be granted to her.

Luthra then referred to the FIR and said the statement of one Ravi Shankar was relied upon and that there was an alleged recovery of small quantities of contraband and was accused of financing the drugs.

He said the high court rejected her bail while seizure memo showed that menthol free six cigarettes and few other objects were recovered from her.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the prosecuting agency, said that this is not a case of mere personal consumption, but she has been found organising these rave parties at various places where she had supplied drugs.

He said there has also been tampering of the evidence, with the urine sample being replaced with water.

The bench said that at the highest it could be presumed that the petitioner might have consumed the drugs and the petitioner had also been arrested on conspiracy charges.

It noted that till date no charge sheet has been filed in the case and said that prima facie if at all any offence has been made out is the consumption under section 27 A entailing punishment of one year or six months imprisonment.

The bench said this is a case in which bail should have been granted and hence “we will grant her bail and set aside the High Court order”.

On 3 November, the Karnataka High Court had declined to grant bail to Dwivedi and Sanjjanaa Galrani in the drugs case.

However, on 11 December, Galrani was granted bail by the High Court in a drug case, over three months after her arrest.

Karnataka Police had arrested Dwivedi, Galrani and others in September last year in the case.

Updated Date:

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