It has been almost a month since Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan and other accused were brought into custody by the Narcotics Control Bureau after a raid on a cruise ship where they procured drugs in small quantities. While Aryan Khan was found not to be in possession of drugs, he was consistently denied bail on the basis of alleged incriminating evidence found on his WhatsApp chats. The bail plea of Aryan and Arbaaz Merchant was heard by Justice Sambre in the Bombay High Court on 26 October. Khan was represented by Mukul Rohatgi, former Attorney General of India. Advocate Satish Maneshinde appeared in the magistrate court on behalf of Aryan Khan. He was joined by senior advocate Amit Desai as the latter was the lead counsel before the sessions court. However, the hearing ended after Rohatgi’s argument as it was time for the court to be closed and the judge ordered the hearing to continue on October 28.
Today i.e. on 28 October, Additional Solicitor General of NCB Anil Singh started his arguments in the court. According to Live Law India, Singh says, “The applicant (Aryan Khan) is not a first time offender. He is a regular consumer for the past few years and records show that he was providing drugs. And there is a reference to heavy Drugs in quantity and in commercial quantities. He has been in contact with drug peddlers.”
Additionally, ASG Singh says, “The first record I am relying on is the panchnama. We found the secret note. 11 out of 8 people were caught in the raid.” He further said that with regard to WhatsApp chats, he has a certificate 65B under the Evidence Act.
“The applicant, even if he attempts to dispose.. then, section 28 shall apply. And if he is involved in a conspiracy then section 29 shall apply. Even if he is not found in possession, and an attempt is made , Section 28 will apply. And if there is any conspiracy, automatically the rigors of Section 37 of the NDPS Act will apply for bail,” he added.
Further, he says, “Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant are childhood friends. They traveled together, they were being kept in the same room. They are saying that we have not tested for consumption. Where is the question when they have not consumed it? They were found in possession. It is our case that Aryan Khan was found in possession of the drug.”
He further cited WhatsApp chat, panchnama and secret note as the reason behind the allegation of Section 28 and Section 29 in the case. ASG Singh further argues, “What is the basis for saying that he tried to deal with commercial volume? What have you? WhatsApp chat will show that he tried to deal with business volume, that’s it.”
He said that many drugs were found on the 8 people who were detained from the cruise ship and then arrested. “When I say conspiracy, I count the drugs of all persons, it comes up. We also have WhatsApp chat and 65B certificate. Drugs were found from all of them,” he said, adding that the first remand was of four hours. Was. After the arrest, Section 28 and Section 29 were added in the remand application. He says, “So my argument is that you (Aryan Khan) are not in physical possession, but No. 2 (Arbaaz Merchant) has been found in possession.”
On Rohatgi’s argument on illegal arrest, the ASG says, “The three remand orders of the magistrate have not been challenged. Hence now the accused cannot say that the arrest is illegal. They have to satisfy the court that the magistrate has taken into account all the factors.” Passing remand order but here only remand is not challenged.
ASG Singh told the court that his argument was three-fold, Aryan Khan was conscious, he had links with drug smugglers and the arrest was valid; That there was a lapse of 4 hours for remand. He showed the trustworthy WhatsApp chat to the court.
According to Live Law India, Mukul Rohatgi, in his reply to Aryan Khan, says, “There was no recovery from me. Although I say I didn’t know what he was carrying. But what should be thrown at me? That is through commercial quality conspiracy. So basically what five other people are carrying is thrown on me. But section 27A is not applicable against me. There were 1300 people on the ship. This by NCB No material was created to show that I knew anyone other than Arbaaz and Achit. The latter was arrested with 2.4 grams. Dealers can’t have just 2.4 grams.”
Rohatgi says, “Their case is if it is not a coincidence, but a conspiracy. There should be a meeting of minds. Say a telephone call between everyone. 8. So apart from Arbaaz, none of these have anything to do with me. -Don’t give in,” says Rohatgi. On behalf of Aryan Khan stating that there is no material to allege conspiracy. “Besides the people mentioned in the chart, there were two other people, a Manav and Gaba (who invited me). They were not arrested. It is true that conspiracy is difficult to prove but facts will always speak. If so their It is argued that the admissibility of the statement of section 67 cannot be observed at this stage, then it would be violative of article 21.” Bombay High Court grants bail to Aryan Khan Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha. The court will pronounce the detailed order with reasons tomorrow.
Mukul Rohatgi On Tuesday, 26 October, it was argued on the grounds that there was no opportunity to arrest his client as far as no recovery, no consumption, or no medical examination was conducted. Aryan Khan is related. Referring to the WhatsApp chats produced as evidence in the court, Rohatgi argued, “None of those chats have anything to do with the beginning of this saga or … conspiracy if you want to call it that.” The chat will have to be tested at the time of trial. But to use a common phrase of conspiracy, nothing is.”
Advocate Amit Desai began his arguments for Arbaaz Merchant on Thursday after the judge moved the hearing to Wednesday, October 27. The court heard Aryan Khan’s bail at around 4 pm. The hearing continued with Ad Amit Desai talking about Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant. He pointed out that on the day of his arrest on October 3, Sections 28 and 29 were not added. Even those who arrested him regarded him as personally visiting him. The punishment for which is one year.
“Bail is the rule and jail is the exception. Now it has become ‘arrest is the rule and bail is the exception’,” Desai said, citing previous judgments terming Aryan and Arbaaz’s arrest as illegal.
Desai said, “The first remand application does not talk about conspiracy. Therefore, at the time of first remand, the court was misled to believe that he has also been charged under sections 28 and 29 of the NDPS Act. ” He said the panchnama “demolishes the case of conspiracy”.
Desai also pointed to the bail granted to two guests who were detained on the same cruise. He said the replies filed on their bail petitions were similar to those of Aryan and Arbaaz. He also told the judge that 2.4 grams of ganja was recovered from one of these guests.
Forty-five minutes after the hearing, the judge reminded Desai of the time and said that he would take up the matter tomorrow. Desai sought time to conclude his argument expeditiously. Desai told how according to him 6 grams were recovered from Arbaaz and 5 grams from Munmun. Despite this, 21 grams of charas is mentioned in the remand application.
Talking about the WhatsApp chat, Desai said that there is no such chat which links the conspiracy with the rave party. He also said that the media is getting access to the chat as long as it is also not on the record of the court. “The fundamental point is that if all these (chats) are to be treated as confessions, then such evidence has already been rejected by Justice Dere in a judgment,” he argued. Desai questioned the need for custody when the maximum sentence is one year.
After Desai ends his argument, Mukul Rohatgi makes presentations for Aryan Khan. Rohatgi quickly argues that the remand application is misleading and bail can be granted.
Advocate Ali Kashif Khan appeared on behalf of the third accused, Munmun Dhamecha. He said nothing was recovered from his client and Munmun was a young woman who had no connection with the other accused. Arguing about the angle of conspiracy, Khan said that Section 29 has been misused not only against his client but also against others with whom the arbitral and commercial amounts were recovered.
On 26 October, his bail plea was heard in the Bombay High Court and Khan was represented by former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi. Advocate Satish Maneshinde appeared in the magistrate court on behalf of Aryan Khan. He was joined by senior advocate Amit Desai as the latter was the lead counsel before the sessions court. The judge concluded the hearing for the day and said it would continue on October 27 at 2.30 pm.
Aryan Khan was detained by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 2, 2021 after the NCB raided a cruise ship. He was arrested on October 3 under sections 8(c), 20(b), 27, 28, 29 and 35 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
Read also: Pune Police arrested Kiran Gosavi, who took selfie with Aryan Khan; Manish Bhanushali summoned by Mumbai Police
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