Mumbai: Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, has been denied bail after he was arrested in connection with the drugs-on-cruise case. A Mumbai Magistrates court said Friday evening that Mr Khan’s bail application was “not maintainable”.
The court also rejected bail applications from two other accused – Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha – and said all three would have to approach the Sessions Court for bail.
The young celebrity, from whom the NCB has admitted that no drugs were recovered, and the other accused are housed in (and will be returned to) Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail.
Arguing against bail, the NCB had said releasing Aryan Khan could hamper its investigation. The agency claimed Mr Khan could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses. The agency also insisted Aryan Khan and the other accused were “regular users of contraband”.
“They are influential persons… is a chance of tampering with evidence. Had it been one person with small quantity, it would be different. We have a lot of material… protection like bail at this stage will hamper the investigation,” Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh said.
Aryan Khan also has to be confronted with others arrested, the agency said, referring to Archit Kumar; Mr Kumar was arrested, the NCB claimed, basis of Mr Khan’s statement.
However, Mr Khan’s lawyer, Satish Maneshinde, underlined a crucial point – that the NCB had failed to (and admitted to that failure) find drugs either on his client’s person or in his bags.
“… not a single material to disclose any commit any conspiracy… no material has been found on me or in my bag… where is the material to prosecute? Since I am not found in possession of anything I cannot be trucked with them (other accused),” he argued.
“I have been found with nothing. Not even one gram, one ounce and so much capital is being made out of it…” he said, arguing the arrest was “based on what they found on his mobile”.
“Nothing much has emerged in five days and that is because there is nothing. I am from a respectable family… not likely to abscond. Accused who they say (are) connected to me already in their custody,” Mr Maneshinde added.
He also referred to statements by the Supreme Court, which earlier said interrogation, investigation and confrontation of the accused with others could take place even after bail.
Mr Maneshinde also represented actor Rhea Chakraborty when she was arrested by the NCB – again, after no drugs were found on her and on the basis of WhatsApp chats.
Ms Chakraborty was given bail – a point Mr Maneshinde also underlined; “Unless you show material against me, you cannot hold me for a moment,” he said.
Aryan Khan, 23, was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau after a Sunday night raid of a party being held on a cruise ship off the city’s coast. He and seven others arrested at the time were initially sent to the agency’s custody till Thursday and then to judicial custody.
28Comments“I am of the view that no custodial interrogation is required as sufficient time was given,” the judge had said then, after which Mr Khan’s lawyer, Satish Maneshinde, moved the bail plea.