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Sandalwood Drugs Case: Supreme Court Issues Notice to Karnataka Govt After Ragini Dwivedi’s Plea

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Source: Silverscreen Media Library

The Supreme Court issued a notice to the Karnataka Government on Friday, to respond to Sandalwood drugs case accused Ragini Dwivedi’s special leave bail plea, reported DNA. Dwivedi, who was arrested on September 4, says she has been in jail for over 90 days without any proof or recovery of drugs from her.

Senior advocate Siddhartha Luthra had filed the special leave petition on Dwivedi’s behalf after her bail plea was refused at a November 3 hearing by the Karnataka High Court, along with that of co-accused Sanjjanaa Galrani and three others.

The Supreme Court has kept the case on hold until the first week of January 2021 for further hearing. 

Dwivedi, who primarily works in the Kannada film industry, known as ‘Sandalwood’, was arrested after the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of the Bengaluru police raided her house in connection with the drug racket case. The actor has been booked under several provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Known as the ‘Sandalwood drugs scandal’, the case is an ongoing investigation that started on August 21 when the Narcotics Control Bureau raided an upscale gated community, Nikoo Homes, in Bengaluru. Along with a number of drugs, a diary containing names of 15 celebrities including actors, musicians, models and reality show personalities from the Kannada entertainment industry, was also seized. Those named were then accused of procuring drugs (including marijuana), arranging high-end rave parties, and supplying them at such events.

On October 9, a special NDPS court in Karnataka extended the judicial custody of the actors until October 23 after rejecting their bail plea multiple times. Following this, the Karnataka High Court once again denied bail to the actor on November 3. Dwivedi then filed a special leave plea.

In the special plea, Dwivedi states that she has been denied bail multiple times and has been kept in custody merely on the basis of a statement extracted by the police from a co-accused in the case. The plea also states that she has become a victim of media trial.

A bench comprising of justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and KM Joseph issued a notice to the Karnataka government seeking a response to the plea.

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