Mumbai, Oct 14, 2021: Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, will have to spend six more days in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail as the Special NDPS court in the city on Thursday reserved its order for October 20 on bail application in connection with the seizure of banned drugs onboard a cruise ship.
During the argument, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) counsel ASG Anil Singh opposed Aryan’s bail and said, “Argument is, they are kids. One of the considerations for granting bail. I don’t agree with this. Sir, they are our future generation. The entire country will be depending on them. This is the land of Mahatma Gandhi, Gautam Buddha. We have to stop this drug abuse. We have been taking this matter very seriously. We are looking into the chain, into the transaction."
The NCB, in the court, said all countries should take drug abuse very seriously as it is affecting society and the world. “Our department working day and night to find a solution to drug abuse. We are dealing with it in a very serious manner. My officers were attacked, beaten, in a different matter. They put their lives in danger and they have been working. This has been affecting the entire society, particularly to youngsters who are college students," the NCB counsel said.
Countering the NCB’s argument, senior counsel Amit Desai, appearing for Aryan Khan, said, “What is equally important is, as a state, we fought for the Constitution. We fought for a procedure established by law. This part concerns my client. We must recognize one very fundamental issue. Our society has realized that there are types of drugs and there are types of drug menace. Under DPSP, in 2017, the government put forth some policy documents concerning narcotics. We have an equal duty to the Constitution. The provisions of the NDPS were amended. Application of bail provisions was also restricted to those who committed serious offenses."
“Without affecting the ongoing investigation, bail can still be granted," said Aryan’s lawyer in the court, adding, “In relation to this gentleman, this department may have crossed the legal line to persuade the lordship of his crime. Let me assume, there is a confession of consumption. What’s the worse? One year."
Speaking on Desai’s arguments in the court and future course of action, Adwait Tamhankar, who is representing co-accused Arbaz Merchant, said, “Further investigation for showing conspiracy, so bail can’t be given at this juncture, was the main argument. But this can’t be refused. Even on October 20, it isn’t fixed that this order will come. The Judge has said, ‘he will try’."
If this court denies bail, we will approach the Bombay High court
For the unversed, Aryan was arrested on October 3 after the NCB raided a Goa-bound cruise ship off the Mumbai coast and claimed to have recovered drugs from some persons. He is currently in judicial custody and lodged at the Arthur Road prison in Mumbai.
The anti-drugs agency has claimed that in the WhatsApp chats Aryan is discussing modes of payment to be done for procurement (of drugs) and that several code names are being used.
Aryan Khan has been charged with offences under Sections 8(c), 20(b), 27, 28, 29, and 35 of the NDPS Act about the possession, consumption, and purchase of drugs. The defence said Aryan was “falsely implicated" and releasing him on bail would not stop the probe.
Apart from Aryan Khan, four other accused in the case - Arbaaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Nupur Sateja, and Mohak Jaiswal - have also filed bail pleas in the special court. A total of 20 people have been arrested by the NCB so far in the drugs seizure case.
On the other hand, a special court in Mumbai which granted bail to Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik’s son-in-law Sameer Khan has observed that there was no evidence to establish that Sameer was involved in drug trafficking. Special judge for Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act cases A A Joglekar granted bail to Sameer and two others last month. A detailed order became available on Wednesday.
Sameer, son-in-law of Nationalist Congress Party leader and Maharashtra minority affairs minister Nawab Malik, was arrested on January 13, 2021, by the NCB for alleged possession of drugs. The prosecution alleged that Sameer was part of a drug syndicate and involved in peddling as well as consumption of the contraband.