Sandalwood drug scandal: Kannada actor Ragini Dwivedi’s custody extended by 5 more days

South India

Ragaini’s lawyers withdrew the anticipatory bail application and filed a fresh plea for conditional bail, which is yet to be taken up for hearing. 

A local court in Bengaluru remanded Kannada actor Ragini Dwivedi to five-day police custody in connection with the drug scandal rocking the Karnataka film industry.

The actor, who has a large fan base in Karnataka, was produced by Central Crime Branch Bureau (CBB) via video conference before the Ist Additional Chief Magistrate at around 2 am on Monday, September 7, with a plea for her custody for 10 days. After hearing both sides, the court allowed 5-day custody.

The prosecution claimed that the CCB had been able to interrogate her only for one of the three days she was in custody as she had complained of back pain. The court was also informed that the CCB could not extract all details they want because of lack of cooperation by the actor.

The CCB also told the court that she had deleted messaging apps and chats on her mobile phones, making it difficult for the investigation to find out the dates, places where the parties were held, who sold the drugs and who consumed them.

The CCB in its remand application said that Ragini had to be taken to various spots for inspection and that she needs to be questioned regarding her role in the drug case.

Ragini’s counsel opposed the custody application saying that his client was deliberately implicated in the case as she’s a celebrity. The counsel alleged that vested interests were trying to defame her. Ragini’s counsel argued that she had attended the parties but never consumed drugs or procured them. Ragini’s counsel informed the court that she was apprehended based on the allegations by Ravi Shankar.

Meanwhile, Ragaini’s lawyers withdrew the anticipatory bail application on Monday and filed a fresh plea for conditional bail. The plea is yet to be heard.

Ragini Dwivedi was arrested on Friday by the CCB. The CCB alleged that the actor attended high-end parties and allegedly consumed drugs in those parties, a News Minute report said. The CCB has also arrested Viren Khanna, a high profile party planner, Rahul Tonse and Senegalese national Loum Pepper Samba, who allegedly had links to the drug trade.

Meanwhile, the police said that Ragini’s friend Ravi Shankar, the clerk at the RTO office in Jayanagar, and another accused Rahul Shetty, the real estate businessman and architect, will not be turned into witnesses, but would also be produced before the court as accused.

The CCB is yet to produce these accused before the magistrate.

The CCB on Monday also arrested a man named Niyaz, for allegedly supplying drugs to these parties. Niyaz, who is originally from Kerala, had settled in Bengaluru five years ago. “We will give more details after questioning him,” the CCB source added.

Image Credit: The News Minute

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