- Bollywood Director Karan Johar is the latest celebrity to come under NCB’s radar in connection with the alleged drug party that took place at his home in 2019
- The latest action is part of the ongoing investigations that the NCB has been seeking to unravel over the last few months into the Bollywood-drug nexus
- Karan Johar has denied allegations levied against him and called them “baseless”
On Thursday, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) released a notice to filmmaker Karan Johar, seeking details of a 2019 party video organized by him. After a complaint was filed by politician Manjinder Singh Sirsa, who provided the video in question to the investigative agency, the NCB issued the notice.
Sirsa was at the forefront of the conspiracy theory that drugs were taken at the party attended by Vicky Kaushal, Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Arjun Kapoor and others. He wrote on Twitter, “Get ready for Koffee with NCB Karan Johar,” referring to the news of the NCB notice.
Sirsa met NCB chief Rakesh Asthana in September and asked him to launch an investigation into the video. In the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, the NCB is exploring the drug angle. Speaking to reporters the same month, NCB Deputy Director General Mutha Ashok Jain said the video had nothing to do with the case of Sushant.
After the allegations resurfaced in the furore surrounding the death of Sushant, Karan released a statement in which he said, “Some news channels, print/electronic media and social media platforms are wrongly and misleadingly reporting that narcotics were consumed at a party I hosted at my residence on July 28, 2019, Karan Johar.” Back in 2019, I had already explained my stance that the accusations were baseless.
Furthermore, Karan Johar said, “I reiterate that the allegations are completely baseless and false in view of the current malicious campaign. The group did not consume any narcotic drugs.”
Karan had previously explained that, “At his party, no one was taking drugs. After a long week of work, there were members of the industry who had an easy night out and had a nice time. With all that earnestness, I took that video… If something was happening at all I wouldn’t be putting out the video, I’m not stupid,’ he said in the August 2019 interview with Rajeev Masand.
“My mother was sitting with us 5 minutes before this video. It was that kind of family, happy, social gathering, where friends sat and had a good time, and we listened to some music, had some good food, and there was good energy for conversation. Nothing else was going on,” he added.
Calling the allegations “false & baseless” he said that while he has remained quiet so far if the allegations continue, he will be compelled to take the “legal path”.
Vicky Kaushal, who was also present in the video shared his disbelief at the India Today Conclave in 2019 over the uproar that the video had caused. Vicky said, “Karan had called us all, we were just chilling around. I had only recovered from dengue three days before this. I spent 10 days sitting at home, and the doctors suggested me to get back to my shooting schedule. Karan’s mother was there five minutes before the video was made, to put gangaajal on us, as she had come back from a holiday.”
He went on to say that, “Karan had also tried earlier to shoot the video. It was not the first time; four times he had tried to make this film. When he was shooting it, Karan Johar also had a pout. We were all like ‘hey’ for the first video, and by the fourth one we were just like done. Referring to his rubbing nose, which was seen as a “evidence” of drug use, he said further, “I didn’t know it meant drugs. The scratch of the nose was a normal thing. My expression was perfect, the reflection was also caught.”
During the investigation into the suspected drug connection in the movie industry, many Bollywood celebrities came under the NCB’s scanner. The agency questioned actors like Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Saif Ali Khan’s daughter Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh, while comedian Bharti Singh and her husband Haarsh Limbachiyaa were arrested and later bailed. Rhea Chakraborty, Sushant’s girlfriend, spent almost a month in jail after she was arrested for allegedly buying marijuana for him.