Mumbai, November 21
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Saturday arrested comedian Bharti Singh following seizure of ganja (cannabis) from her house in suburban Andheri, an official said.
The NCB searched Singh’s house and office in the morning as part of its probe into alleged drug use in the Hindi film industry.
A team led by Sameer Wankhede, the central agency’s zonal director, carried out a search at Singh’s residence at Lokhandwala Complex as well as her production house based on a tip-off, a release said.
It recovered 86.5 grams of ganja during the search, the release added.
“Both Ms Bharti Singh and her husband Harsh Limbachiya accepted consumption of ganja. Bharti Singh was placed under arrest under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and examination of Mr Limbachiya is underway,” the NCB release added.
The quantity allegedly seized from Singh’s possession is considered as “small quantity” under the act, as against “commercial quantity”, an NCB official said.
Upto 1,000 grams of ganja is considered small quantity, which attracts jail term upto six months and/or fine of Rs 10,000.
Possession of commercial quantity—20 kg or more—can attract upto 20 years in jail. For the quantity in between, the punishment can be as much as 10 years in jail.
“Singh’s name had cropped up during the interrogation of a drug peddler,” he added.
After sustained interrogation of nearly five hours, late this evening, Bharti was placed under arrest, while hubby Harsh was still being grilled by the sleuths.
Bharti shall be produced before a designation court on Sunday, though it is not clear whether it will be a physical appearance or via videoconference.
The agency also carried out searches at two other locations in the metropolis, the official said.
Bharti has appeared in many comedy and reality shows on TV. She has also hosted a few such shows.
The NCB has been probing the alleged drug use in Bollywood after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June on the basis of WhatsApp chats involving drugs.
The central agency had earlier arrested Rajput’s girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, some employees of the late film star and a few others under various sections of the NDPS Act.
Rhea Chakraborty and some other accused are currently out on bail. — With Agencies