SA national moves HC challenging detention by NCB

Agisilaos Demetriades, brother of actor partner Arjun Rampal, has applied to the Bombay High Court to challenge his detention by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) since April 21 under the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances Prevention Act (PITNDPS).

Dimitriadis, a South African national, said in the petition that the Federal Ministry of Finance had issued a detention order against him under the PITNDPS Act, which contains provisions on detaining a person “with the intent of preventing them from engaging in illegal activities.” Trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances’. The petition stated that the order was issued on September 21 last year, after which he was arrested by the National Commercial Bank in Goa last month.

Dimitriadis was first arrested by the National Commercial Bank, Mumbai, on October 18, 2020, in connection with the case brought after the death of actor Susanth Singh Rajput, after a search led to the recovery of the contraband from him. He was released on bail in September 2020, then arrested in a separate case by the European Central Bank, Mumbai, where he was released on bail in December 2020.

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The petition stated that the arrest warrant was issued nearly a year later when it should have been carried out immediately without any delay. She said there was an excessive delay in issuing the order and it was punitive rather than preventive.

Demetriadis said that while others with a larger role have been released on bail and the NCB has sought to revoke the bail, it has only been “highlighted” and action is being sought under the PITNDPS Act. He also confirmed that there are no materials showing that he was involved in the illegal drug trade. The petition stated: “…the allegation on the grounds of detention at most shows that the petitioner was a habitual drug user.”

The Bombay High Court of Justices PD Naik and Abhay Ahuja will hear the petition on Friday.

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