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T'wood drugs: T'gana directed to share details with ED

T'wood drugs: T'gana directed to share details with ED

The 2017 drugs case allegedly involving some Tollywood personalities took a new turn on Wednesday with the Telangana High Court directing the state government to share all the documents and details related to the case with the Enforcement Directorate.

It asked the government to provide all the details within 15 days after receiving a request from the ED.

The court also directed the state authorities to provide call data of the suspects to the central agency within a month. It told the ED that it can come back to the court if it did not get all the details relating to the case.

The directions were given by the court while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in 2017 by then MLA and now Congress MP Revanth Reddy, seeking direction to the state government to entrust the investigation to the Narcotics Control Bureau, the ED, the CBI or other central agencies.

The ED had questioned 12 Tollywood personalities in September last year as part of a money-laundering probe in connection with the case. Actors Rakul Preet Singh, Rana Daggubati, Charmee Kaur, Ravi Teja, Nandu, Navdeep and director Puri Jagannadh were among those who were questioned by the ED based on the chargesheets filed by Telangana Excise Department's Special Investigation Team (SIT) against drug trafficker Calvin Mascarenhas.

The SIT had questioned the Tollywood personalities in the case in 2017 but found no evidence against them.

During the hearing on Revanth Reddy's PIL, his counsel submitted to the court that in the case involving high-profile persons, the state government did not cooperate with the ED.

ED Joint Director Abhishek Goyal also told the court that ED was not provided documents and details relating to the court. However, the state government's counsel claimed that all the details were given to the ED.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court directed the government to provide copies of FIRs, investigation reports, and all other related documents to the ED.

The court, however, said there was no need to order a probe by the CBI or any other agency.

The drugs racket was busted on July 2, 2017 when customs officials arrested Mascarenhas, a musician, and two others and seized drugs, valued at Rs 30 lakh, from their possession.

They had reportedly told the investigators that they are supplying drugs to film celebrities, software engineers, and even students of some corporate schools. Mobile numbers of some Tollywood celebrities were allegedly found in their contact lists.

A total of 12 cases were registered in connection with the drugs racket. Thirty people were arrested while 62 individuals including 11 people connected with Tollywood were examined by the SIT under section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and section 161 of Criminal Procedure Code.

An American, a South African and a Dutch national were among those arrested.

The SIT had collected blood, hair, nail and other samples from some of those who appeared before it for questioning and sent them for analysis. It filed charge sheets in eight out of 12 cases. It, however, gave clean chit to the film personalities who were questioned as part of the investigation.

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Tags: High Court Enforcement Directorate Tollywood drugs case