Actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan, arrested in connection with a drugs case, will continue to stay in jail as a Mumbai court on Thursday reserved its order on his bail plea till the next hearing on October 20, Live Law reported.
Aryan Khan and seven others were detained on October 3 after the Narcotics Control Bureau raided a party on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai and seized drugs on board. No drugs were found in possession of the actor’s son.
He was initially remanded to the custody of the anti-drugs agency, but was then sent to judicial custody for 14 days on October 7.
During Thursday’s hearing, the Narcotics Control Bureau told the special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances court that Aryan Khan had been consuming drugs regularly for the past few years, Bar and Bench reported.
The agency opposed Khan’s bail petition, and contested his argument that no drugs were found on him.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh said that the drugs seized from a co-accused, Arbaaz Merchant, were meant for him as well as Aryan Khan. Singh cited WhatsApp chats and contended that Khan was in “conscious possession of drugs because he admits it was with his friend and it was for consumption of both of them”.
Singh added: “We will ultimately find out how they [the accused persons] all are connected to each other and establish a case of conspiracy. This isn’t a case of bail at this stage. It can be considered at an appropriate stage.”
Singh also opposed the argument of the defence that the accused were young in age and hence should be considered for bail, according to Live Law.
“This is our future generation,” Singh said. “The entire country will be depending on them. This is not what our freedom fighters in the land of Mahatma Gandhi envisioned.”
To this, senior advocate Amit Desai, appearing for Aryan Khan, pointed out that the government’s policy was to sensitising children and college students against drug abuse.
Desai also argued that granting bail would not negatively affect the investigation in the case.
The advocate also questioned the seizing of Aryan Khan’s mobile phone. He said that Aryan Khan did not give the phone voluntarily and it was seized without the required memo for doing so, reported Bar and Bench.
“They [NCB] say that you [Khan] are a person at the bottom of the chain, that you are the consumer, and instead of trying to reform you, I will pick you up and put you in jail, till the time the conspiracy is unearthed.”
On WhatsApp chats found on Khan’s phone, Desai submitted that a “casual conversation” between friends can seem suspicious. Desai said that there is nothing about the cruise party on his phone.
“This young man [Khan] was overseas for a while,” he said. “In those countries some times lot of things are legitimate. I don’t know what kind of chats are there. I have not seen. The possibility of conspiracy and speculation cannot hold me back in this case.”
Earlier during the hearing , a person claiming to be a social worker sought permission to intervene in the matter, Live Law reported.
The intervenor alleged that Khan was getting special treatment, and said that his bail petition was being heard promptly while those of others remained pending for long periods of time.
The court, however, rejected the intervention application.
The Narcotics Control Bureau has said that it 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.
Khan was initially remanded to the custody of the anti-drugs agency but was sent to judicial custody for 14 days on Thursday, October 7.
Special Judge VV Patil took up his bail petition on October 11. The Narcotics Control Bureau sought a week to respond to Khan’s petition but the judge rejected this request and listed the case for hearing on Wednesday.
Khan’s counsel Amit Desai on Wednesday told the court that his client did not have any cash on him during the agency’s raid, and that no contraband was seized from him.
The lawyer also said that some of the drugs allegedly seized are legal in some other countries. “They [accused persons] have been in custody and have learnt their lesson...” Bar and Bench quoted him as saying. “They are not peddlers. They have suffered enough.”
Desai also argued against treating all the petitions together, saying that the court needed to keep in mind the facts of the case and not just the larger picture.
On the other hand, the Narcotics Control Bureau, in its reply to the bail petitions, asked the court not to treat each case separately as all the accused were a part of larger chain and involved in conspiracy and committing illegal acts, according to Bar and Bench.
The agency claimed that prima facie Khan used to procure drugs from Merchant and people connected to him, reported Live Law. It said that six grams of charas was recovered from Merchant.