Karnataka High Court rejects bail plea of Sanjana, Ragini
The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of Sandalwood actresses Ragini Dwivedi, Sanjana Galrani and her friend Prashant Ranka, who were arrested on charges of being involved in drug supply network in Kannada film industry.
Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of Sandalwood actresses Ragini Dwivedi, Sanjana Galrani and her friend Prashant Ranka, who were arrested on charges of being involved in drug supply network in Kannada film industry.
The bench led by Justice Srinivas Harish Kumar announced the verdict on Tuesday. After the completion of the hearing on October 24, the judge announced that the trio's bail application has been rejected. Also, the court dismissed the petitions filed by three other accused, Shivapraksh, Abhiswamy, and Prashanth Raju G, who sought anticipatory bail apprehending their arrest by the CCB.
The Central Crime Branch, probing the drug case arrested Ragini Dwivedi and Sanjjanaa Galrani in September. Shivaprakash is still at large, the police said. The two actresses and the drug supplier Prashant Ranka were in the CCB custody till September 13 and were later remanded to judicial custody on September 14. Prashant was also denied bail. Since then they were lodged in the Parappana Agrahara Central jail here.
The city police intensified investigation into the drug abuse among celebrities after the Narcotics Control Bureau arrested three people, including a Malayalam tele serial actress Anikha and Kerala CPM State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan's son Bineesh Kodiyeri's aide Mohammed Anoop with synthetic drugs. The trio were charged with supplying drugs to the celebrities in Bengaluru including Kannada film actors and singers.
One of the high-profile accused is Aditya Alva, son of former Minister Late Jeevaraj Alva. The CCB probing the case had even raided the Mumbai residence of Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi who has married Alva's sister but to no avail.
Ragini was arrested on September 4 and Sanjana on September 8 under various provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for allegedly consuming and supplying banned drugs at parties and events organised in the city over the last couple of years.
All the accused are lodged in the central jail on the outskirts of the city's southern suburb. "The trial court on September 28 dismissed their bail applications on the grounds they could influence the other accused and hamper investigation into the drugs scam," said the official.
The special NDPS court had also refused to grant bail to both the actors on the same day (September 28).
The special public prosecutor contended that as the investigation is pending, the accused should remain in judicial custody. The city police began a crackdown on the use of banned drugs in the Sandalwood industry in August last week after noted Kannada film producer Inderjit Lankesh alleged that about a dozen actors were into drugs and there was a nexus between them and drug mafias.
Besides Ragini and Sanjana, 20 drug peddlers, party organisers and their associates were arrested and jailed pending the investigation. Lankesh's startling revelations about the rampant abuse of banned drugs in the multi-crore film industry came after the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) busted a drug trafficking racket in the city and arrested former Kannada television actress D Anikha and two of her accomplices, R Ravindran and M Anoop, on August 26.
The Central agency also seized huge cache of drugs from the accused, including 145 ecstasies or MDMA pills and Rs 2.2 lakh in cash from the Royal Suites Hotel Apartment in the city's northeast suburb on August 21 and more pills in a follow-up raid last week.
The drug racket is suspected to supply recreational and party drugs to Sandalwood actors, children of VIPs, students and others.
(With agency inputs)