- Clean chit to 11 movie celebrities in drug case
- The case resurfaced with the approval of the charge sheet.
- Case brought into limelight by ‘Forum for Good Governance’
- PIL filed by Congress MP Revanth Reddy about status of case
Hyderabad: Tollywood drugs case which created sensation in 2017 came to the fore once again. The Excise Department has given clean chit to 11 film celebrities in the drug case. The High Court approved the charge sheet filed by SIT which was filed four years ago. On July 2nd, 2017, the Excise Department registered 12 cases in the drug case and arrested 30 persons and interrogated 27 personalities as per charge sheet. Out of the 12 cases, charge sheet was filed only on the first 8 cases in which excise police have questioned Hero Ravi Teja’s driver Srinivasan along with other 11 celebrities.
Tollywood drug probe
The case had shocked and rocked Hyderabad after the people came to know that leading film personalities were involved in drug rocket in 2017. It appeared more horrifying when drug suppliers revealed that they supplied the drugs to students of high-end-schools and colleges. This case was pushed aside by State govt. and there were speculations that it was done to protect Tollywood bigwigs and influential persons involved.
But this case opened out when Padmanabha Reddy from ‘Forum for Good Governance’ filed an application under RTI to know what action was taken on the persons involved in the case. Reply from RTI surprised Padmanabha Reddy as 12 cases and 4 charge sheets reflected names of only drug suppliers and neither the middlemen nor the consumers.
Revanth Reddy’s claim
Revanth Reddy’s PIL has stated that several film celebrities and high-end schools and college students have been found using drugs like LSD and MDMA during the interrogation in 2017. He also said that the case should be handed over to agencies like Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), ED and CBI as per the nature of the case. Giving full powers to SIT without including State Excise and Prohibition departments is illegal, he further claimed in the PIL. Revanth Reddy’s counsel, Bollu Rachana Reddy, questioned government as to why they are not giving the case to NCB when they are ready to take it up.
Was SIT probe handled in a proper way?
There are many doubts in minds of common people about handling of case by SIT. Suspecting stress or political pressures, they might have left it, said a person from film industry. Generally, SIT will be headed by a senior officer to probe such type of cases, but the fact that an inspector of Prohibition and Excise Department was asked to lead the team gives rise to doubts about sincerity of the authorities. SIT questioned them in routine manner like from where they got drugs and collected hair and nails of the personalities and sent them to lab and simply washed their hands, the Congress leaders alleged.
But now the case resurfaced with the approval of the charge sheet.