A court in Mumbai on Thursday sent actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan to judicial custody for 14 days in a drugs-related case, ANI reported.
Khan and seven others had been detained on Sunday morning after the Narcotics Control Bureau raided a party on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai and seized drugs on board.
The seven others accused persons in the case are Khan’s friend Arbaaz Merchant, model Munmun Dhamecha, Vikrant Chhoker, Ismeet Singh, Nupur Sarika, Gomit Chopra and Mohak Jaswal. All of them have also been sent to judicial custody.
All the eight accused persons will continue to be held at the NCB office till their interim bail pleas are heard, reported The Indian Express.
The agency’s Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede had requested that those accused in the case should be kept in the NCB office as prisons do not admit undertrials without Covid-19 reports.
During Sunday’s raid, the central agency said it had seized 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of mephedrone, 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA (ecstasy) and Rs 1,33,000 from the cruise ship.
At Thursday’s hearing, the Narcotics Control Bureau sought custody of the accused persons till October 11, Live Law reported
The agency told a court in Mumbai that it was still conducting raids. It added that “anyone arrested in those raids would be confronted with the present accused [persons]”.
On the other hand, Khan’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde argued that no drugs were found on his client, Bar and Bench reported. “Why should custody be given?” he asked. “No drugs, nothing in my bag, nothing on my person, I did not tamper with phone.”
Maneshinde submitted that Khan was not questioned for two nights. “Why is custodial interrogation required now?” he asked.
The lawyer told the court that Khan is friends with Merchant, who has also been arrested in case, but he has no association with his activities.
“I have no connection to any of the organisers,” Aryan Khan submitted in court. “I do not deny my friendship with Arbaaz but I am not connected with his activities.”
Khan’s son’s counsel said that the only person with whom he would need to be confronted is Aachit Kumar, who allegedly provided the drugs. However, the lawyer said that it “can be done even after” Aryan Khan is granted bail.
“They have not interrogated me for two nights,” Maneshinde said, according to Bar and Bench. “They keep saying that they have to reach the ‘main accused’. He [Aryan Khan] cannot be held hostage till they find the main accused.”
Additional Metropolitan Magistrate RM Nirlekar rejected the Narcotics Control Bureau’s request for further custody of the eight people. “I am of the view that no custodial interrogation is required as sufficient time was given [for questioning],” the judge said, according to NDTV.
Khan’s lawyer has applied for interim bail. The court will hear the matter at 11 am on Friday, Bar and Bench reported.
The anti-drugs agency had admitted in court on October 4 that it did not recover any illegal drugs from Khan, according to India Today. In his bail plea, the actor’s son had argued that he was arrested only on the basis of some chat messages.
On Wednesday, Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Nawab Malik alleged that a Bharatiya Janata Party leader and a private investigator were among those who took part in the raid. He identified the two men as Manish Bhanushali, a national vice-president of the BJP, and KP Gosavi, the private investigator.
Malik questioned whether the Narcotics Control Bureau has the authority to allow private citizens to take part in raids or to take their help for such operations.
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