December 2, 2023
Picture supply: Bar and Bench

In a major determination, the Supreme Court docket of India made it clear that the Bombay Excessive Court docket’s ruling within the Rhea Chakraborty case—which concerned the interpretation of provisions underneath the Narcotic Medication and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act), shall not be thought of a precedent in another subsequent circumstances. The Supreme Court docket’s ruling was made in response to the Narcotics Management Bureau’s (NCB) attraction of the Excessive Court docket’s judgement granting actor Rhea Chakraborty bail in October 2021. Following the unlucky demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in 2021, the case centered on the drug inquiry and included accusations towards Rhea Chakraborty for her suspected function in enabling Rajput’s drug transactions.

Interpretation of Part 27A of the NDPS Act by the Excessive Court docket

The Bombay Excessive Court docket construed Part 27A of the NDPS Act in a means that had necessary ramifications when it granted Rhea Chakraborty bail. As acknowledged underneath Part 27A, simply giving cash to amass medicine or masking up drug use wouldn’t represent “financing illicit commerce” or “harbouring of offenders,” in accordance with the Excessive Court docket’s determination. On condition that the cited clause offers with critical offences and carries a compulsory minimal time period of 10 years in jail, this interpretation was important.

NCB’s Problem and Supreme Court docket’s Resolution

As an alternative of contesting the Supreme Court docket’s determination to offer Rhea Chakraborty bail, the Narcotics Management Bureau sought readability on how the laws must be interpreted. With a view to permit for additional deliberation, Extra Solicitor Basic SV Raju requested the Supreme Court docket to maintain the authorized matter open on behalf of the NCB. In consequence, the petition was dismissed by the bench of Justices AS Bopanna and MM Sundresh, who dominated that the Excessive Court docket’s determination shouldn’t be used as a tenet in subsequent conditions.

Supreme Court on Rhea Chakraborty Case Interpretation - Asiana Times
Picture supply: India At present

Excessive Court docket’s Reasoning for Granting Bail to Rhea Chakraborty

The Excessive Court docket vehemently rejected the NCB’s assertion that Rhea Chakraborty was an lively participant in a narcotics community when it issued a bail order for her. In line with the courtroom, there have been good causes to suspect that Rhea was not responsible of any crimes coated by Part 27A or crimes involving a considerable amount of narcotics.

The courtroom went into additional element on the way it outlined “financing illicit commerce.” It was clarified that simply giving cash for a selected transaction, even when it concerned narcotics, wouldn’t routinely qualify as “financing” criminality. To qualify as “financing” underneath Part 27A, a monetary help have to be immediately or not directly associated to the creation or upkeep of an illegal enterprise or enterprise.

Allegations of “Harbouring” Sushant Singh Rajput Rejected

The Excessive Court docket additionally disproved the declare that Rhea Chakraborty was “harbouring” Sushant Singh Rajput. The courtroom emphasised that the actions of Rhea Chakraborty couldn’t be prolonged to satisfy the outline of “harbouring” underneath the NDPS Act as a result of there was no lively prison investigation or FIR towards Rajput, and he was dwelling on his personal and dealing with his funds freely.

Supreme Court on Rhea Chakraborty Case Interpretation - Asiana Times
Picture supply: Telegraph India

Implications of the Supreme Court docket’s Resolution

The Supreme Court docket’s determination can have a big effect on how future circumstances involving drug-related crimes underneath the NDPS Act are dealt with. The Supreme Court docket has supplied readability and maintained its place because the final arbiter of authorized interpretation by making it clear that the Bombay Excessive Court docket’s studying of the legal guidelines shall not be considered as a precedent.

It’s essential to keep in mind that varied courts might learn the regulation otherwise and attain completely different outcomes. The Supreme Court docket’s ruling on this case highlights the importance of case-specific evaluation and emphasises that every case must be assessed on the premise of its distinctive deserves and the accessible proof. When dealing with drug-related crimes, authorized specialists and regulation enforcement organisations will proceed to depend on established authorized rules and precedents from the Supreme Court docket and different increased courts.


A big authorized precedent has already established by the Supreme Court docket’s rationalization that the Bombay Excessive Court docket’s view within the Rhea Chakraborty case is to not be considered a precedent. This determination emphasises the worth of abiding by accepted authorized requirements and helps the Indian courtroom system’s hierarchical construction. This ruling will act as a information for courts and authorities for deciphering and administering the NDPS Act in subsequent circumstances because the nation offers with persistent drug-related issues.