New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Objecting to the Narcotics Control Bureau's crackdown on the alleged drug nexus in the showbiz industry, Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Sunday said that the agency was arresting drug addicts but not the drug traffickers.

"NCB is arresting people who consume drugs. They're addicts who should be sent to rehab, not jail. NCB's duty is to track down drug traffickers but no action being taken against them. Is NCB protecting them by arresting drug addicts from film industry?" Malik questioned. 

The remarks by Malik came a day after the arrest of comedian Bharti Singh and her husband Harsh Limbachiya by the NCB following the seizure of drugs from their house. 

The couple along with two others arrested in the case would be produced before a court here after their medical examination, he said. A case has been registered against the accused under provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Acting on a tip-off, the NCB on Saturday conducted search at Singh's office and residence as part of its probe into the alleged drug use in the entertainment industry, and seized 86.5 gm of cannabis during the search.

Up to 1,000 gm of ganja is considered small quantity, which attracts jail term up to six months and/or fine of Rs 10,000. Possession of commercial quantity -- 20 kg or more -- can attract up to 20 years in jail. For the quantity in between, the punishment can be as much as 10 years in jail.

The NCB has been probing the alleged drug use in Bollywood after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June this year on the basis of WhatsApp chats involving drugs. The central agency earlier arrested Rajput's girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik, some employees of the late film star and a few others under various sections of the NDPS Act. Rhea Chakraborty and some other accused are currently out on bail. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta