The 1st Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on Thursday granted the Enforcement Directorate (ED) permission to question actors Ragini Dwivedi, Sanjjana Galrani and three other accused in the Sandalwood drug case. The ED is probing money laundering allegedly perpetrated by the accused. The ED, had two weeks ago started probing the finances of the accused involved in the drug case.
Special prosecutor Prasanna Kumar filed a petition in court seeking permission for questioning. The court granted ED permission to interrogate Ragini Dwivedi, Sanjjana Galrani, party planner Viren Khanna, Sanjjana's friend and real estate businessman Rahul Tonse, and Ragini's associate BK Ravi Shankar.
Sources with the ED said that the accused had allegedly offered Rs 50 lakh to suspended ACP Mudhavi to allegedly pass on information regarding the probe and that Rs 12 lakh cash had already changed hands. The ED suspects that the accused have unaccounted assets and money, which they were allegedly funnelling into the drug trade.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru's Central Crime Branch, which is probing the alleged drug racket in Sandalwood, had summoned actor Diganth Manchale for questioning on Thursday. This is the second time the actor was questioned. On September 14, Diganth and his wife Aindrita Ray, who is also an actor, were questioned by the CCB. Their phones were seized and they were let off after questioning.
CCB sources said that they allegedly retrieved chats between Diganth and suspected drug peddlers from African countries. The actor allegedly deleted these chats before turning in his phone. However, the CCB was able to retrieve the deleted chats, sources said. The actor is said to have vehemently denied procuring drugs and maintained that he only attended the parties as he was a celebrity and that neither he nor Aindrita Ray consumed any drugs.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sandeep Patil said that the actor has been asked not to leave town and would be summoned for questioning again. Diganth has been instructed that he would have to inform the CCB if he is to go out of town for shoots.