Actress Rhea Chakraborty found herself in the dock in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case on Friday as the CBI grilled her for nearly eleven hours over the issues that the investigations into the actor’s death have thrown up in the case, even as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoned Goa-based hotelier Gaurav Arya for questioning on August 31 in an alleged money laundering case.
Rhea, who has been accused by Sushant’s family of abetting Sushant”s death, reached the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO)’s guesthouse at Santa Cruz’s Kalina area for questioning at 10.15 am. Her questioning went on for nearly eleven hours.
Rhea walked out of the DRDO guesthouse at 9 pm after questioning. From there, she reportedly headed to Sanata Cruz police station to lodge a complaint against some journalists who had tried to enter her Juhu residence. While there was no confirmation yet, it is quite likely that she may be re-summoned for questioning on Saturday or Sunday.
Rhea’s brother Showik, late Sushant’s flatmate-friend Siddharth, cook Neeraj, house manager Sammuel Miranda and his other associates were also questioned all through the day. Friday was the second day when Showik was grilled by the CBI in connection with the case. On Thursday, Showik had been questioned by the investigators for nine hours on Thursday.
A day after she laid bare her side of the story in the Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case through interviews given to a few television channels, Rhea -as was anticipated in the wake of the grilling that Showik was subjected to by the investigators -was summoned for questioning by the CBI in the morning.
By the time Rhea reached the DRDO’s office, the other key witnesses Siddharth, Neeraj and Sammuel Miranda were there to answer questions posed to them by the CBI sleuths. After a few hours of questioning, Siddharth was taken to the CBI’s Mumbai office at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) where he was questioned once again for another five hours before he was brought back to the DRDO Guest House where the visiting CBI team has been camping ever since their arrival from New Delhi a week ago.
It was not immediately known if Rhea was brought face to face with Siddharth or other key witnesses like her own brother Showik, Neeraj or Sammuel Miranda and the actor’s other associates at any point of time on Friday.
During the course of her day-long questioning, Rhea is understood to have been questioned by the CBI on issues like her relationship with Sushant, bouts of depression reportedly suffered by the actor, on why she left the actor’s flat on June 8, whether she was administering medicine and if yes then whether the drugs given to the actor were prescribed by doctors, about the psychiatrists, doctors and spiritual healers whom she had taken Sushant to, whether she was taking decisions in the actor’s financial & professional matters, whether she supplying drugs or giving drugs mixed in liquids to the actor, whether she had received any money from the actor, what transpired in their trip to Europe and about her strained relations with Sushant’s family members.
Rhea was questioned about the events that followed the discovery of Sushant’s body in his closed room at his sixth floor duplex flat in “Mont Blanc” building at Bandra’s Carter Road area in north-west Mumbai.
Rhea, who stayed away from the actor’s funeral, is reported to have been questioned about her covert visit to the Cooper Hospital’s mortuary to have the last glimpse of Sushant.
During the course of 11 hours that she spent at DRDO guest house, Rhea was posed several sets of questions. After every two or three sets of questioning, she was given a break before resuming questioning.
Sources said that the investigators would co-relate the answers of Rhea with those of other eye witnesses, including Siddharth and Neeraj, who have been questioned for over a week by the CBI, before they summon her back for questioning once again.
In a related development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials served summons to Goa-based hotelier Gaurav Arya, whose name has figured in drug-related issues involving Sushant, Rhea and others, to appear before it for questioning on August 31 (Monday)
It may be recalled that the ED, which has registered a money laundering in Sushant’s death case, had retrieved whatsApp messages Rhea had with others in which alleged procurement and usage of drugs like MDMA, marijuana, LSD and Cannabidiol had figured. The ED had shared the WhatsApp messages to the CBI and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), prompting the latter to register a case under sections 20, 22, 27 and 29 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act and booked Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik Chakraborty and others under it.
On Friday, the ED officials visited Hotel Tamarind at Goa’s coastal village Anjuna. Seeing the hotel shut, they stuck the summons paper on the door of the hotel. Hotel Tamarind has been shut since March this year, because of the lockdown restrictions
Among other things, the ED notice stated that Arya will have to meet Rajiv Kumar, assistant director, ED, at 11 am in Mumbai on Monday in connection with a case registered under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. The ED had registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) on July 31.
It may be recalled that ED had questioned Rhea, Indrajeet and her brother Showik Chakraborty on August 10.
On Thursday, the ED officials questioned Rhea’s talent manager Jaya Saha. On the same day her father Indrajeet Chakraborty was also summoned by the ED to access the family’s bank accounts in connection with the alleged money laundering case registered by it. The same afternoon, the ED officials took him to the Vakola branch of the Axis Bank to check the bank account details.
Saturday, 29 August 2020 | TN RAGHUNATHA | Mumbai
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