Comedian Bharti Singh and husband Haarsh Limbachiyaa have been granted bail by a magistrate court in Mumbai on November 23. The couple had been arrested for possession and consumption of drugs by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and sent to judicial custody on November 22.
The couple’s lawyers, Ayaz Khan and Zehra Charania, have argued that the quantity recovered was very small (below 5 gm) and well below the commercial limit (between 5 to 250 gms) specified by the Central government. They further argued that the NDPS was amended in 2001 making the possession of small quantities of cannabis a bailable offence, reported Mumbai Mirror.
The court had earlier ordered both Singh and Limbachiyaa to be sent to judicial custody for 14 days, till December 4. The duo immediately filed for bail and have now been granted the same after submitting a bail bond of Rs. 15,000 each.
Singh and Limbachiyaa were arrested after the NCB seized 86.5 grams of cannabis from a raid on their residence in Andheri and their production house, H3 Productions, in Versova on November 21. While Singh was arrested on Saturday itself under the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act 1985, Limbachiyaa was arrested on Sunday after a 15-hour long interrogation. Singh admitted to consuming drugs procured by her husband. Limbachiyaa, who is a writer and actor, had stored 65 grams at his residence and 21.5 grams in his office.
The couple has been charged under sections 8(c), 20(b)(ii)(A), and 27 of the NDPS Act 1985. Section 8(c) prohibits the purchasing and possessing of the drug, while Sections 20(b)(ii)(A) and 27 penalise the offence “with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, which may extend to ten thousand rupees, or with both.” Actor Rhea Chakraborty was also arrested under these sections in September.
Earlier this month, Hindi film actor Arjun Rampal and producer Firoz Nadiadwala’s residences were also raided, after their Rampal’s girlfriend’s brother and Nadiadwala’s wife were found with drugs in their possession.
Singh and Limbachiyaa have been hosting the dance reality show India’s Best Dancer. Limbachiyaa is also part of the television stand-up comedy and talk show The Kapil Sharma Show.
The NCB’s ongoing investigation into the film industry’s association with drugs comes in the wake of the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June in Mumbai. The actor’s death was being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate, and the NCB.