WhatsApp Chats: NCB’s ‘Brahmastra’ Against Aryan Khan, Rhea Chakraborty
Apart from the fact that both Aryan Khan and Rhea Chakraborty belong to the Bollywood fraternity, no one could ever imagine any other link between the two until the Narcotics Control Bureau arrested both of them in connection with a drug case. While Rhea Chakraborty is out on bail, Aryan Khan is currently locked up at the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai. The major similarity between the Aryan Khan arrest case and Rhea Chakraborty arrest case is ‘WhatsApp chats’ that landed both of them in trouble.
The Rhea Chakraborty Drug Controversy
Last year, after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and the whole drug controversy, female actor and Sushant’s girlfriend, Rhea Chakraborty, was arrested by the NCB on the basis of her WhatsApp chats; however, no drugs were found on her. The female actor was arrested on 8th September 2020 and was granted bail on 7th October by Bombay High Court, nearly after a month of her arrest. Rhea has been charged with Section 27A of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.
While Rhea Chakraborty was not labelled as a regular consumer of drugs, the NCB, in its statement to the court, said: “It is specifically mentioned that the drugs which were financed by her were not meant for her personal consumption. The drugs were supplied for consumption by some other person,” Meanwhile, the ‘other person’ pointed towards late actor Sushant Singh Rajput. It was also alleged by the NCB that Rhea used to manage Sushant’s finances and was part of a supply chain that used to offer drugs to Sushant.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was arrested by the NCB officials during a raid conducted on a rave party in a cruise off to Goa. During the raid, there were no drugs found on Aryan Khan. However, 6 grams of charas were found on Aryan’s friend Arbaaz Merchant. Meanwhile, there were also reports of Aryan Khan breaking down in front of NCB officials and accepting the fact that he was a regular consumer of drugs. SRK’s son Aryan Khan has been charged with Sections including 27A and 29 and is currently in the Arthur Road jail. The next hearing of Aryan Khan’s case is on 20th October 2021.
The Link Between Rhea Chakraborty And Aryan Khan
One question that might come to your mind after reading about both the cases is on what basis were the accused were arrested if no drugs were found on them. Well, the NCB used its only weapon ‘WhatsApp chats’ to make a case against Aryan and Rhea. NCB officials allegedly found some chats in Rhea’s phone about drugs and later found some monetary transactions as well, hinting at Rhea purchasing drugs and supplying them to her boyfriend and actor Sushant Singh Rajput. In the case of Aryan Khan, officials recovered WhatsApp chats from Aryan’s phone that suspected that Aryan was a regular consumer of drugs and also an active member of an international drug trafficking racket.
Since both Aryan Khan and Rhea Chakraborty have been arrested under the NDPS act,1985, if they are found to be guilty of only consuming drugs, they might not get punished if they are willing to undergo the de-addiction process. The NDPS court treats people consuming drugs as victims; however, if the court finds enough evidence about Aryan Khan or Rhea Chakraborty’s involvement in supplying drugs, they will be charged as convicts as per relevant sections of law.
WhatsApp Chats – The ‘Sole Weapon’ Of The NCB
The Narcotics Control Bureau mostly hunts for major drug peddlers and suppliers who are responsible for supplying drugs in the country. Agencies like NCB can also conduct raids on various places if they suspect any kind of drugs involvement, like in the case of Aryan Khan. However, time and again, it has been proved that WhatsApp chats cannot alone be a piece of primary evidence if there is no other corroborative evidence presented in the court.
Stating the same, Lawyer Shekhar Jagtap, in a drug case, said: “A person may be boasting on a chat but may not follow up with the alleged offence. So unless there is any other corroborative evidence to show that the act was committed, the offence cannot be proved based on chats alone.”
However, NCB alleged that since people like Aryan Khan and Rhea Chakraborty are celebrities, the bar is high, and they bear additional responsibility, but the court seems to disagree with NCB’s idea. In fact, while giving bail to Rhea last year, the Bombay High Court said: “I do not agree. Everyone is equal before the law,”
What do you think? Is sending a message about the act should be treated in the same way as committing the act?