Telangana HC seeks status report on 2017 Tollywood drugs case

The HC issued the directions to the state government while hearing the PIL filed by the Congress MP Revanth Reddy.
SIT officials addressing during an interaction with the media in Hyderabad
SIT officials addressing during an interaction with the media in Hyderabad
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Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the state government to submit a status report on the 2017 drugs case, in which several Tollywood celebrities faced a probe. The High Court bench, headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Bollam Vijaysen Reddy, made the direction while hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Congress MP A Revanth Reddy. In 2017, Tollywood celebrities and over 1,000 students from high-end schools and colleges were alleged to have found to be using high-end drugs such as Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). 

In his PIL, the Congress leader claimed that the state Excise and Prohibition Department entrusting the complete investigation of the case to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is illegal. Revanth Reddy also said that the SIT is not equipped enough to conduct the probe without the consultation of the agencies such as the Narcotics Control Bureau, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau and the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation, given the nature of the case.

The 2017 case sent shockwaves across the Telugu states and in the Telugu film industry, with the Investigation agency "grilling" several known faces.

According to reports in regional media, the CJ expressed his surprise, stating that no counter was filed by SIT despite the agency's ability to tell when the charge sheet was filed. A report in The Hans India said that the CJ sought details on the status of the trial and number of the persons investigated, whether the investigation is underway, and directed the state government to file a report on the SIT investigation in the drugs case

Bollu Rachana Reddy, the counsel of Revanth Reddy, informed the court that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) was ready to take up the investigation while alleging that the state government was not giving details of the case to the NCB.

Appearing for the state government, Advocate General Banda Shivananda Prasad has sought a time to file the counter after getting details from the officials concerned.

Posting the matter for December 10, the High Court directed the state government to inform the status of the SIT investigation.

In 2019, an RTI query filed by M Padmanabha Reddy of the Forum for Good Governance showed that 62 people were questioned related to the bust and 12 cases have been registered and four chargesheets were filed by the officials.

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