Aryan Khan gets bail from Bombay High Court in drugs case
After three days of hearings, the Bombay High Court on Thursday granted Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan bail in the Mumbai cruise ship drug bust case
After three days of hearings, the Bombay High Court on Thursday granted Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan bail in the Mumbai cruise ship drug bust case. Following the verdict, the 23-year-old will now be able to step out of Mumbai's Arthur Road jail by Friday after spending 26 days there.
Besides Aryan, the court also granted bail to Arbaz Merchant and Munmum Dhamecha. Aryan and others were arrested after a raid by the Narcotics Control Bureau on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai on October 2.
On day three of the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who appeared on behalf of the NCB, said that evidence existed that could prove that Aryan Khan regularly consumes drugs. He stated that Aryan was in conscious possession of drugs considering that his childhood friend, Arbaaz Merchant, who was travelling with him was in possession of the drugs.
However, Aryan's counsel Mukul Rohatgi contended that the conspiracy charge could not stand as out of the 3000 people on board the cruise, his client only knew Arbaaz Merchant. He wondered how the seizure of just 6 grams of drugs amounted to conspiracy.
The NCB further claimed that Aryan made an attempt to deal with commercial quantity. ASG Singh contended that multiple drugs were found with all the accused on the night of the raid. Countering the claim made by defence counsel that the quantity of drugs seized was small, the prosecution maintained that the amount of Ecstasy seized is a commercial quantity
With regard to the doubts raised by Aryan's counsel Mukul Rohatgi about WhatsApp conversations, ASG Singh sad that they could be disputed because the NCB were in possession of statements under 65B of the Evidence Act. He further said the WhatsApp conversations also establish commercial quantity.
Citing Supreme Court judgment which said that drug menace is a more heinous crime than culpable homicide, ASG Singh said that the arrest memo mentioned not just about the commercial quantity but also the fact that Aryan had consumption with the commercial quantity.
The NCB claimed that the WhatsApp chats have a reference of procuring hard drugs in commercial quantity and that Aryan had been in contact with peddlers. ASG Singh contended that this was why Section 28 (Punishment for attempts to commit offences) and Section 29 (Punishment for abetment and criminal conspiracy) were added.
However, Mukul Rohatgi countered the ASG stating that only 6 grams of drugs were recovered from Arbaaz and that offences of others were being slapped upon Aryan.
On Wednesday, the counsel for the accused -- Mukul Rohatgi, Amit Desai and Ali Kashif Khan Deshmukh -- attempted to take apart the NCB's allegations. Amit Desai, who was appearing for Arbaaz Merchant, said the accused were misled into believing that it was a conspiracy case during the first remand. He further said that the arrested persons must be informed of the grounds of their arrest.
However, on Thursday, ASG Singh informed the court that they (the accused) were informed of the charges within four hours. He also told the court that the defence cannot come and say that the arrest was illegal at this stage considering that they still had not challenged the remand orders.