Drug Case: Mumbai Magistrate court rejects bail petition filed by Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan and 2 others
Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan, has been denied bail after he was arrested in connection with the drugs-on-cruise case. According to the court, Aryan will spend the weekend in Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail.
A Mumbai magistrate’s court said Friday that Mr Khan’s bail plea was “not maintainable”, agreeing with the Narcotics Control Bureau that since drugs were seized a Sessions Court must hear the matter. The court also rejected pleas from two other accused – Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamechat. All three must now approach the Sessions Court for relief. The young celebrity, from whom the NCB has admitted that no drugs were recovered, will now be returned to Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail.
Arguing against bail per se, the NCB said releasing Aryan Khan could harm the case. The agency claimed he could tamper with evidence and influence witnesses. It also insisted Aryan Khan and the others 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 added, referring to Achit 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 not found 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 got bail – a point Mr Maneshinde underlined; “Unless you show material against me, you cannot hold me,” 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. “I am of the view that no custodial interrogation is required as sufficient time was given,” the judge had said then, after which Mr Maneshinde moved the bail plea.
Meanwhile, shortly after Aryan Khan’s bail was denied, filmmaker Karan Johar who is close friends with the Khan family was spotted arriving at Shah Rukh’s sea-facing bungalow Mannat in Bandra. Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan have collaborated on several films over the years and share a close bond.
He was seen arriving at Mannat with senior advocate Rustam N Mulla. Earlier in the week, Salman Khan had also visited Shah Rukh Khan after Aryan’s arrest. Apart from being close friends, the two superstars also live in the same street. Shah Rukh Khan has been receiving support from several members of the film industry during this tough time.