The 2017 drugs case which was linked to top Tollywood celebrities took a new turn on Wednesday. The Telangana High Court directed the state government to share all the documents and details that are related to the case with Enforcement Directorate. The High Court said that the government should provide all the details within 15 days after they receive a request from the ED. The High Court also directed the state authorities to hand over the call data of the suspects to the central agency within a month.
The High Court said ED can come back to the Court if they miss getting any details of the case. The court issued directives while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in 2017 by then-MLA and now-Congress MP Revanth Reddy, who asked the state government to submit the inquiry to the Narcotics Control Bureau, the ED, the CBI, or other central agencies.
Last Year in September, as part of the money laundering probe in connection with the drug case, ED questioned 12 Tollywood celebrities. The celebrities who were questioned by ED based on charge sheets filed by Telangana Excise Department's Investigation Team (SIT) against drug trafficker Calvin Mascarenhas are Rakul Preet Singh, Rana Daggubati, Charmee, Ravi Teja, Nandu, Navdeep, and Puri Jagannadh. In 2017 SIT did not find any evidence again them in the investigation.
During the hearing on Revanth Reddy's PIL, his lawyer told the court that the state government did not assist with the ED in a case involving high-profile people. ED Joint Director Abhishek Goyal also told the court that the ED had not been given any documents or information about the case. The state government's lawyer claimed that the ED had been given all of the details. The court ordered the government to send copies of FIRs, investigation reports, and any other associated documents to the ED after hearing both parties' arguments. The court said there is no need to order a probe by the CBI or any other agency.
On July 2, 2017 drug racket was busted when the customs officials arrested a musician Mascarenhas and two others and seized Rs 30 lakh worth of drugs. They had confessed to the officials in the interrogation that they are supplying durg to a few Tollywood celebrities, software engineers including students of some corporate schools. The investigators found a few Tollywood celebrity numbers in their contact list.
A total of 12 cases have been filed in connection to the drug case. Thirty people were arrested, and the SIT investigated 62 people, including 11 people linked to Tollywood, under section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Those arrested included an American, a South African, and a Dutch national.
Blood, hair, nail, and other samples were gathered and forwarded for examination by the SIT from some of those who came before it for interrogation. It filed charge sheets in eight out of 12 cases. The film celebrities who were questioned as part of the investigation were given a clean bill of health.