What is the NDPS Act saga under which Rhea Chakraborty has been arrested?

Rhea Chakraborty and nine others have been arrested under many sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

The NDPS Act, enacted in the country in 1985, is the primary law for dealing with drugs and their dealing. It was passed as India had to fulfil duties as a signatory of various worldwide conventions on narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to stop its use and illegal trafficking. It has multiple orders to punish manufacturing, sale, possession, consumption, use, transport of banned drugs.

The NDPS Act includes 5 Chapters, with each chapter dealing with a particular subject concerning the law. The first chapter serves as an introductory chapter. It introduces and defines the various narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, and finally highlighted that the Central government has the power to delete or add other substances to the list under the NDPS Act.

The second chapter puts out the relevant Authorities and Officers that have been created under the NDPS Act. It also tells the guidelines for the Central government to appoint a Narcotics Commissioner, to set up a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Consultative Committee and to fund a National Fund for Control of Drug Abuse.

The third chapter puts out the Prohibition, Control and Regulation of the previously mentioned substances. It prohibits the cultivation or production of the coca plant, opium poppy or any cannabis plant by anybody. Furthermore, all Inter-State and International smuggling of such substances have been prohibited.

Chapter four includes the Offences and Penalties under the NDPS Act. It describes punishment duration the various possible crimes that can be tried under this Act, such as possession of such substances, for commercial or recreational use, cultivation or preparation of such substances and smuggling of such substances.

The fifth chapter deals with the Procedure of how the cases are to be dealt with, and also set the guidelines for the officers empowered under this Act.

The central government can add or remove from the list of psychotropic substances. In 2015, the central government classified mephedrone – also called as meth as a psychotropic substance in the Act after its popularity grew among the youth and experts declared it bad for health.

What are the sections are against Chakraborty?

The accused in the case are arrested under Sections 8 (c) read with section 20 (b) (ii), 22, 27A, 28, 29 and 30 of the NDPS Act. These pertain to claimed use and possession of cannabis and psychotropic substances, supporting illegal transportation and harbouring offenders as well as abetment and criminal conspiracy, attempt and preparation of committing an offence.

An FIR was filed by late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s father KK Singh in Patna on July 25 against Chakraborty. The charges in the FIR concerned to sections including abetment of his suicide, criminal conspiracy, cheating, claiming that they had siphoned money from Sushant Singh Rajput. Due to this claim, the Enforcement Directorate began its probe and filed a FIR for money-laundering against Chakraborty and her family.

Chakraborty was summoned and interogated by the ED which also sought access to her electronic devices including her cell phone. The ED said that it had found chats on her phone concerning to use and obtainment of drugs which were shared with the NCB, the central agency dealing with such offences.

Two complaints were filed by the NCB – one against Chakraborty based on the chats and another against alleged drug peddlers. The arrest of Rhea Chakraborty on September 8 was in the second case. With the arrest of nine others including Rhea Chakraborty’s brother, Showik, the NCB claimed that it had found evidence of her involvement in the second case.