HYDERABAD: The state government appears to be cagey in parting with information about the progress of investigation into the three-year-old cases relating to use of banned drugs in Tollywood.
In reply to an RTI query from Forum for Good Governance, the office of the Director of Enforcement, Prohibition and Excise Department has furnished charge-sheets for eight cases, contending that charge-sheets in respect of remaining four cases are yet to be filed.
The Forum For Good Governance suspects that it looks as though investigation into these four cases, which involved Tollywood celebrities, has been dropped.
“Why is the government not coming forward to speed up the investigation into the use of drugs in Tollywood? The Special Investigation Team (SIT), which was constituted in 2017, should get to the bottom of the four remaining cases and file charge-sheets as early as possible.
"In fact, the SIT was very active at that time, calling the Tollywood personalities for questioning, taking their statements and also collecting samples but later the investigation suddenly turned cold,” Forum for Good Governance secretary M Padmanabha Reddy said.
The Forum, which has been pursuing the case, obtained under RTI the list of film personalities who were quizzed and whose statements were recorded.
The Department furnished a list of 72 names in two installments — first with 60 names and the second with 12 names. The list included Puri Jagannath, Charmme Kaur, Mumaith Khan and Ravi Teja, to name a few.
Padmanabha Reddy said that the SIT should complete its investigation and disclose the details to the people to clear all doubts over its seriousness in pursuing the cases without categorising some as victims and others as peddlers.
Padmanabha Reddy is of the opinion that there cannot be a peddler and a victim in drug cases because all are adults and all of them know that selling or consuming drugs is against the law.
According to one official, anyone found to be in possession of drug is punishable since the law does not differentiate a peddler from a victim.
“The law is simple. It says whoever is found to be in possession of drugs is punishable under law,” he said.
The charge sheets furnished to Forum for Good Governance related to use of drugs by students and others, and their perusal revealed that the drugs were smuggled into Hyderabad from far off countries like Germany and Britain.
“Let the officials take the cases to their logical conclusion,” he said.
List of 72 names revealed
Under RTI, the Forum for Good Governance obtained the list of film personalities who were quizzed and whose statements were recorded. The Prohibition and Excise Department furnished a list of 72 names in two installments and it included Puri Jagannath, Charmme Kaur, Mumaith Khan and Ravi Teja.