Comedian Bharti Singh, husband get bail in drugs case

A Mumbai court on Monday granted bail to comedian Bharti Singh and her husband Harsh Limbachiya, who were arrested after seizure of drugs from their house in suburban Mumbai.
The magistrate’s court granted bail to the couple on a bond of Rs 15,000 each.
Bharti Singh, who has appeared in a number of comedy and reality shows on TV, was arrested on Saturday night by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), while her husband was taken into custody on Sunday morning following seizure of ganja (cannabis) from their house in suburban Andheri.
They were produced on Sunday before the magistrate’s court which remanded them in judicial custody till December 4.
They then filed bail pleas through their advocate Ayaz Khan which were posted for hearing on Monday.
The NCB had recovered 86.5 gm of ganja during the search their residence and office.
This is considered as ‘small quantity’ under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, an official earlier said.
On Monday, Khan told the court that the couple has been booked for possession and consumption of drugs that is considered “smaller than the small quantity prescribed in the Act”.
“The offences under which my clients (Singh and Limbachiya) have been booked are punishable up to one year in jail. Hence, bail should be granted,” he argued.
Khan further told the court that Singh is a woman, who is suffering from diabetes and hence, liberty should be given.
“Singh has performed in several reality television shows and acted in films. She and her husband have no criminal antecedents and hence, there is no chance of them absconding,” he said.
The magistrate accepted Khans arguments and granted bail to the couple.
While no lawyer was present for the NCB, its officials were present in the court and they sought time to file their reply to the bail pleas.
However, Khan said the bail pleas were filed on Sunday and since the case pertains to “smaller than small quantity”, the court can exercise its powers and grant bail.
Singh and Limbachiya were booked under NDPS Act Sections 20(b)(ii)(A) (involves small quantity of drugs), 8(c) (possession of drugs) and 27 (consumption of drugs).
Up to 1,000 gm of ganja is considered a small quantity, which attracts jail term up to one year and/or fine of Rs 10,000.
Possession of commercial quantity 20 kg or more is punishable up to 20 years in jail. For the quantity in between, the punishment can be as much as 10 years in jail.
The NCB has been probing the alleged drug use in Bollywood after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June this year, on the basis of WhatsApp chats involving drugs.
The names of Bharti Singh and her husband cropped up during the interrogation of a drug peddler.
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 Act.
Rhea Chakraborty and a few other accused were granted bail by the Bombay High Court in October. Showik’s bail plea was rejected by the HC.