Aryan Khan’s bail plea hearing in drugs case to continue on Wednesday
Khan has been wrongly arrested since no drugs had been recovered from him, his lawyer Mukul Rohatgi told Bombay High Court.
There is no case of consumption, sale or purchase of drugs against Aryan Khan, advocate Mukul Rohatgi argued before the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, reported Live Law. The High Court was hearing the bail plea of Khan, the son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, in the Mumbai cruise drugs case.
Aryan Khan and seven others had been detained by the Narcotics Control Bureau after a raid on a cruise party off the coast of Mumbai on October 2. The agency claimed to have seized 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of mephedrone, 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA (ecstasy) and Rs 1.3 lakh from the ship.
Aryan Khan has been in custody since October 8. A Mumbai court had on October 21 extended his judicial custody till October 30. However, the court had said that the extension in custody will not affect the hearing of his bail plea in the High Court.
At the hearing on Tuesday, Rohatgi, appearing for Aryan Khan, argued that the WhatsApp chats that the NCB has referred to against his client were from 2018. “None of the chats are from the cruise,” said the advocate.
Rohatgi argued that Aryan Khan’s case is “not conscious possession” and added that his client was being targeted. “What somebody had in their shoe or wherever is not my concern,” he added, according to Live Law. “So basically this conscious possession is against me, because there was nothing found with me.”
He added: “Since there is no recovery, I submit I am wrongly arrested. There is no consumption, there is no possession.”
Rohatgi added that the accused persons were young boys, and that they can be sent for rehabilitation instead of making them undergo a trial, according to Bar and Bench.
Senior Advocate Amit Desai, who was also appearing for Aryan Khan, said that the NCB’s records showed that the actor’s son and another accused person, Aachit Kumar, spoke about playing online poker. “But there is nothing beyond that poker communication,” he said.
The High Court said it will continue to hear the matter on Wednesday from 2.30 pm, according to Live Law.
Aryan Khan had been denied bail on two previous occasions despite his lawyers arguing before the court that no drugs were found in his possession during the raids.
However, on October 20, judge VV Patil of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances court had rejected this argument. He said that Aryan Khan knew that co-accused Arbaaz Merchant was carrying narcotic substances in his shoes at the party.
Patil said that this amounted to “conscious possession”. The judge also noted that WhatsApp chats retrieved from Aryan Khan’s phone showed that he was involved in “illicit drug activities for narcotic substances on [a] regular basis”.
Meanwhile, two accused persons in the Mumbai cruise ship drug case – Manish Rajgarhiya and Avin Sahu – got bail, Bar and Bench reported. The order was announced by Special Judge VV Patil, who had earlier rejected Aryan Khan’s bail plea.
Also read: Why has Aryan Khan failed to get bail despite no drugs being found on him?
No connection with witnesses in the case, says Aryan Khan
Before the bail plea hearing, Aryan Khan told the Bombay High Court that he has no connection with the witnesses in the Mumbai cruise ship drugs case, reported Live Law. He said he has nothing to do with the accusations of extortion against the Narcotics Control Bureau and added that the decision on his bail should not be influenced by the allegations.
“I have nothing to do with the allegations and counter allegations that are currently on public/social media between Sameer Wankhede and certain political personalities, also have no connection or concern with Prabhakar Sail or (KP) Gosavi,” said Aryan Khan in an affidavit to the Bombay High Court before a hearing on his bail plea.
On Sunday, Prabhakar Sail, a witness in the case, had claimed that he had overheard private investigator Kiran Gosavi talk about a Rs 18-crore deal, of which Rs 8 crore was to be paid to the anti-drug agency’s zonal head Sameer Wankhede.
Sail also claimed that soon after Aryan Khan’s arrest, he was made to sign on 10 sheets of blank paper at the Narcotics Control Bureau office.
Sail is the bodyguard of Gosavi, who was seen in a selfie with Aryan Khan inside the anti-drug agency’s office. Gosavi, also a witness in the case, has gone missing, Sail claimed in an affidavit on Sunday.
On Monday, the Narcotics Control Bureau opposed Aryan Khan’s bail, citing attempts to influence witnesses in the case, Live Law reported. It also accused Khan of having links to the members of an international drug network, according to Bar and Bench.
The anti-drugs agency also alleged Shah Rukh Khan’s manager seemed to have influenced a witness in the case, NDTV reported.
“Affidavit clearly names one Pooja Dadlani, manager connected to this applicant [Aryan Khan],” the NCB said. “It so appears that the said lady appears to have influenced such panch witness when the investigation is ongoing, such interference at the stage of investigation is a malafide attempt to ensure that the same is derailed and the quest of truth is obstructed.”