The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed the Bombay High Court on Thursday that it required one day to seek instructions regarding a plea filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty’s brother, Showik. Showik, who, like his sister, is an accused in the Narcotic Control Bureau’s (NCB) case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s drug use, needed to travel to Australia for work purposes. Both siblings had been arrested in 2021 but were subsequently granted bail. As a condition of their bail, the court had directed them to surrender their passports to the NCB and obtain court permission for international travel.
On September 6, a special court under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act granted Showik permission to travel abroad. During this process, the court noted that the NCB had retained his passport without adhering to legal provisions. According to the Passport Authorities Act, only the passport authority can impound a passport.
Showik’s petition in the High Court, filed by advocate Ayaz Khan, highlighted that in the previous year, Rhea had been granted court permission to travel for the IIFA awards. However, she couldn’t do so because of a standing Look Out Circular (LOC) issued against them by the CBI.
In July 2020, an FIR was filed in Patna by Sushant Singh Rajput’s father, alleging that Rhea Chakraborty took money from Sushant and incited him to commit suicide. The case was subsequently transferred to the CBI by the Supreme Court. While investigating the case, the CBI issued lookout notices against both Rhea Chakraborty and her brother. Due to these notices, they cannot travel abroad even with court permission.
During court proceedings, Ayaz Khan emphasized the urgency of Showik’s travel to Australia between September 17 and 24, thus requesting the suspension of the LOC for this period.
The bench comprising Justice Ajay Gadkari and Sharmila Deshmukh will resume hearing Showik’s petition on Friday, with Advocate Kuldeep Patil representing the CBI to present their arguments before the court.
For the unversed, actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead at his Mumbai residence on June 14, 2021. His family contested that it was not a suicide, leading to the registration of an FIR. Despite extensive interrogations of Rhea Chakraborty and Showik Chakraborty, the CBI has not yet concluded its investigation or filed any chargesheet in the case. The court is set to hear the CBI’s arguments regarding Showik Chakraborty’s lookout circular in the upcoming proceedings.
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