The Bombay High Court on Thursday granted bail to actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan in the drugs case, Live Law reported.
Aryan Khan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant, model Munmum Dhamecha and five others had been detained by the Narcotics Control Bureau after a raid on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai on October 2. Merchant and Dhamecha also got bail on Thursday.
During the raid, 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.
Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Aryan Khan, said the three accused persons are likely to be released from jail on Friday or Saturday, ANI reported. “The detailed order [on bail] will be given tomorrow,” he added.
Earlier on Thursday, the Narcotics Control Bureau told the Bombay High Court that bail is not a rule in cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the Narcotics Control Bureau, said Aryan Khanis not a first-time offender.
“He [Aryan Khan] is a regular consumer [of drugs] for the past few years and the record shows that he has been providing drugs,” Singh claimed. “And there is a reference of bulk quantity and commercial quantity of drugs. He has been in contact with drug peddlers.”
The Narcotics Control Bureau’s lawyer argued that Aryan Khan had been found in “conscious possession” of drugs.
“Aryan and Arbaaz are childhood friends,” Singh said, according to Live Law. “They travelled together, they were going to be put up in the same room. They are saying we haven’t tested for consumption. Where is the question of testing when they haven’t consumed it? They were found in possession. It is our case that Aryan Khan was found in conscious possession of the drug.”
The Narcotics Control Bureau also alleged that Aryan Khan tried to deal in a commercial quantity of drugs. “The WhatsApp chat will show he made an attempt to deal with commercial quantity,” Singh said, according to Live Law.
The anti-drugs agency submitted that “multiple drugs” were found on all the eight persons arrested after the cruise ship raid, Bar and Bench reported.
“There were variety of drugs and the cruise was for two days,” Singh said. “So it cannot be that this is personal consumption. The total drug quantity of ecstasy [recovered] is commercial quantity.”
The hearing on Wednesday
At Wednesday’s hearing, Aryan Khan’s lawyer Mukul Rohatgi argued before the Bombay High Court that the arrest memo did not give true and correct grounds for his arrest. He added that Aryan Khan’s remand application was misleading.
Merchant’s lawyer Amit Desai argued that Aryan Khan, Merchant and Dhamecha had not been accused of using drugs as per the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. He also claimed that the prosecution had misled the special court by saying that the three accused persons were arrested for conspiracy.
Dhamecha’s counsel Ali Kashif Khan said his client never consumed drugs and described the case against her as “completely bogus”. He further argued that the NCB’s case was based only on WhatsApp chats.
On Tuesday, advocate Rohatgi had told the Bombay High Court that there was no case of consumption, sale or purchase of drugs against Aryan Khan.
Aryan Khan’s counsel also claimed that the case against him was based on some irrelevant and old WhatsApp chats.
But the Narcotics Control Bureau has opposed the bail petition, claiming that there were attempts to influence witnesses in the case. The agency also claimed that there were links to the members of an international drug network.