A Special NDPS Court in Mumbai on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan in the Mumbai cruise drugs bust case.
Special judge VV Patil also rejected the bail pleas of Aryan’s friends, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmum Dhamecha.
With the special court once again rejecting Aryan Khan's bail application in the case his lawyers are now likely to approach the Bombay High Court, according to recent media reports.
"We are trying to move the bail application in Bombay High Court today. The other two are also likely to move bail applications in the High Court today," Ali Kasif, Arbaaz Merchant's lawyer told ANI.
Meanwhile, Aryan Khan will have to spend a few more days at the Arthur Road prison.
Aryan was arrested on October 3 by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in charges of being a part of illegal drug trafficking.
Aryan’s counsel Amit Desai and Satish Maneshinde had argued that according to the NCB, Aryan is a consumer. “You are a person at the bottom of the chain, a person affected by the drug menace. Instead of reforming, you (NCB) pick and put him in jail. You say the consumer is in conspiracy with the supplier. This is far-stretched,” Desai had argued.
Desai said that a 2007 national policy on how to deal with narcotics menace has categorized those involved into traffickers, peddlers and consumers. The policy states he said that peddlers are the link and it is wiser to contain them. On the sale of drugs to school and college students, the approach suggested was sensitization, he said.
Desai had even argued that the WhatsApp chat, on which the NCB is relying as a piece of clinching evidence could be youthful banter and rebutted the NCB’s argument that the 23-year-old’s chats point to an illicit drug trafficking.
Aryan’s counsel further argued that there was nothing about the alleged rave party in the ship in the Whatsapp chats the agency is citing. He argued that Aryan was overseas for a few months and in some countries, the substances are legal.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the NCB had told the court continuing his arguments against Aryan’s bail that records show Aryan was not a consumer for the first time and had been a regular consumer of drugs for the past few years, the contraband found with his friend was for their joint consumption. He said Aryan had admitted to this in his statement that the drug was with his friend for both their consumption.
The ASG said further that NCB officers put their lives in danger to fight the drug menace and that some days ago, four to five officers were attacked by the drug peddlers and were hospitalized.
The story so far
The arguments in the bail pleas of Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha were completed last week and Special NDPS Judge V.V. Patil had deferred the verdict till Wednesday.
Ahead of the hearing in Khan's alleged involvement in the cruise party raid bust case, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Mumbai on Wednesday submitted his WhatsApp chats reportedly with a debut actress.
The verdict comes under the backdrop of a senior Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari filing a plea before the Supreme Court Chief Justice N.V. Ramana demanding a high-level probe into the affairs of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the 'violation of Aryan Khan's fundamental rights'.
Meanwhile, the NCB has reportedly found the mention of a heroine in one of the WhatsApp chats of Aryan -- who has been inside the lockup or custody for 19 nights continuously since his detention on October 2 and arrest on October 3.
The NCB has reportedly counselled him and other co-accused, offered them their religious holy books like Bhagwad Gita, Quran or Bible, Aryan reportedly is full of remorse and has promised to 'reform' himself after release.
However, Nationalist Congress Party National Spokesperson and Minister Nawab Malik has challenged these claims and demanded the NCB should release videos of the purported counselling sessions instead of indulging in selective leaks.
In one of the most high-profile operations, Aryan Khan, along with 7 others was caught when the NCB team led by Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede swooped on an alleged rave party aboard a cruise ship on October 2 evening.
During subsequent investigations, another 12 persons, including a foreigner have been nabbed in the same case, while some others have been raided or questioned.
Simultaneously, fingers have been raised at the NCB's style of working, the involvement of a fugitive and a politician, friends of the sleuths as 'independent witnesses', capped by the unprecedented plea to the CJI seeking a probe into the central narcotics agency's alleged 'mala fide doings'.
(With agency inputs)
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