In their bail pleas, Singh and Limbachiya sought to be released saying they do not have any criminal antecedents and hence there is no question of them absconding.
A Mumbai court is likely to hear the bail pleas of comedian Bharti Singh and her husband Harsh Limbachiya on Monday — a day after the duo were sent to judicial custody till December 4 in a drug-related case. However, it may get postponed as the Narcotics Control Bureau will also file its replies on the bail pleas. “As I am busy with other cases today, we will request for some other date of argument,” Special public prosecutor Atul Sarpande said to ANI.
Bharti Singh was arrested on Saturday after the Narcotics Control Bureau recovered 86.5 gm of ganja from Bharti and Harsh’s Andheri House. Up to 1,000 gm of ganja is considered a small quantity, for the possession of which one can be jailed for up to six months and/or a fine of Rs 10,000 can be imposed.
NCB has said both Bharti and Harsh have admitted to having consumed ganja. After Harsh was arrested on Sunday, the couple was produced before a magistrate's court on Sunday which remanded them to judicial custody. Soon after the court order, the couple filed bail pleas through advocate Ayaz Khan. In their bail pleas, Singh and Limbachiya sought to be released saying they do not have any criminal antecedents and hence there is no question of them absconding.
During the hearing, the NCB sought Limbachiya’s custody for questioning but did not seek Singh’s custody and told the court that she may be sent to judicial custody. Their lawyer Khan argued that there is no question of custodial interrogation as the alleged substance recovered is lesser than the ‘small quantity’ as prescribed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The magistrate accepted the arguments and noted that custodial interrogation was not required and that the accused have already been questioned for a considerable time on Saturday.
Singh and Limbachiya have been booked under sections 20(b)(ii)(A) (involves the smalnumberty of drugs) and 8(c) (possession of drugs) and 27 (consumption of drugs) of the NDPS Act.
Acting on a tip-off, the NCB on Saturday searched Singh’s office and residence after a drug peddler gave out Singh’s name. This is part of NCB’s ongoing probe into the alleged drug use in Bollywood — an issue that came to the fore following the death of Sushant Singh Rajput on June 14.
Bharti Singh has appeared in several comedy and reality shows on TV and also hosted a few such shows. Harsh is a screenwriter and a lyricist.
A day after the arrest of comedian Bharti Singh, her husband Harsh Limbachiya was also arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau on Sunday following the seizure of drugs from their house here, NCB officials said. On Saturday, Singh was arrested by the NCB after the seizure of ganja (cannabis) from her house in suburban Andheri, they said.
Now, her husband has also been arrested, NCB's Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede said. Both Singh and her husband are accused of consuming ganja, another official said. The couple along with two others arrested in the case would be produced before a court here after their medical examination, he said.
A case has been registered against the accused under provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, he added.
Acting on a tip-off, the NCB on Saturday conducted a search at Singh's office and residence as part of its probe into the alleged drug use in the entertainment industry, and seized 86.5 gm of cannabis during the search, an official from the probing agency earlier said.
"Both Ms. Bharti Singh and her husband Harsh Limbachiya accepted consumption of ganja," an NCB release earlier said.
The quantity allegedly seized from Singh's possession is considered as "small quantity" under the Act, as against "commercial quantity", an NCB official said.
Up to 1,000 gm of ganja is considered a small quantity, which attracts a jail term of up to six months and/or a fine of Rs 10,000. Possession of commercial quantity -- 20 kg or more -- can attract up to 20 years in jail. For the quantity in between, the punishment can be as much as 10 years in jail.
"Singh's name had cropped up during the interrogation of a drug peddler," the official said.
She has appeared in several comedy and reality shows on TV and also hosted a few such shows.
The NCB has been probing the alleged drug use in Bollywood after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June this year based on WhatsApp chats involving drugs.
The central agency earlier arrested Rajput's girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Show, some employees of the late film star, and a few others under various sections of the NDPS Act. Rhea Chakraborty and some other accused are currently out on bail.