Aryan Khan chatted about drugs in bulk quantity with a foreigner: NCB

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), while opposing the bail application of Aryan Khan, model Munmun Dhamecha and actor Arbaaz Merchant, told the court that they have written to the Ministry of External Affairs, seeking help to arrest a foreigner who has allegedly chatted with the accused and is a suspected peddler.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), while opposing the bail application of Aryan Khan, model Munmun Dhamecha and actor Arbaaz Merchant, told the court that they have written to the Ministry of External Affairs, seeking help to arrest a foreign national who has allegedly chatted with the accused and is a suspected peddler. (HT)
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), while opposing the bail application of Aryan Khan, model Munmun Dhamecha and actor Arbaaz Merchant, told the court that they have written to the Ministry of External Affairs, seeking help to arrest a foreign national who has allegedly chatted with the accused and is a suspected peddler. (HT)
Updated on Oct 13, 2021 09:45 PM IST
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By Vinay Dalvi, Mumbai

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), while opposing the bail application of Aryan Khan, model Munmun Dhamecha and actor Arbaaz Merchant, told the court that they have written to the Ministry of External Affairs, seeking help to arrest a foreign national who has allegedly chatted with the accused and is a suspected peddler. The agency told the court that Khan has chatted with peddlers about drugs in bulk quantity, and used to procure drugs through Merchant.

Additional solicitor general, Anil Singh, who appeared for the NCB and opposed the bail applications of the three, told the court that bail applications are heard day in and out, but it is not like they have to be decided on the same day. NCB is a credible agency dealing with drug trafficking. Consumption of drugs by youngsters is affecting the whole nation, not only economically but also otherwise. The agency is concerned about the gangs involved and efforts are made to trace them.

“They have been arguing Aryan Khan was invited to the cruise ship however who invited and when invited nothing is shown on record. It’s not a simple case that you were invited and you have only consumed drugs. After the third remand application we have applied section 29 of the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substance Act (NDPS) Act that is for abetment and criminal conspiracy. There are twenty accused, out of which four are drug peddlers. We have evidence in the form of WhatsApp chats that Khan and Merchant were in touch with them.”

ASG further told the court, “There are chats which mention about commercial quantities or bulk quantities. There are chats with foreign nationals in reference to hard drugs. Somebody won’t order bulk quantities for consumption. There is something more. We have spoken to the Ministry of External Affairs and are trying to locate the foreign national.”

“It’s a chain and all are connected. If they are given bail it will hamper our further investigations. The contraband was with Arbaaz for consumption of both, both were aware about it. Whatever may be the quantity, if section 29 of NDPS is applied, the punishment will be the same for all due to conspiracy. The person who is charged with the offence will be punished with the same offence as the conspirator.”

The counsels for Khan have also argued that he has retracted his statement. They did the same on October 3, however, we have also recorded his statement on October 4, which is not retracted.

“You have the right to retract, but when are you saying that you have retracted. You have not retracted your second statement, which talks about your consumption.”

Earlier senior counsel Amit Desai, who argued for Khan’s bail application, told the court.

“They are not drug peddlers or drug traffickers, but young kids. They have learnt their lessons, let us not penalise them.”

The NDPS act itself was reformed and punishment for consumption was brought down. Reformation is the way. Even Cannabis was removed from the dangerous drugs schedule. Something has to be done, but this is not the way to do it. In many countries, this substance is legal. They have suffered enough.

“Nothing was found on Aryan Khan. Whatever was found was from Merchant, that too 6g of Charas, the agency has been relying on his statement and claiming that both of them used to consume it. This has a one-year punishment, the involvement in consumption, no substance for sale, and there is no money, so no purchase.”

Desai told the court that Aryan had no money so there was no question of purchase.

The agency has said in its remand application the accused are “inextricably connected with each other” and “it is not possible to dissect the role, involvement of one accused from that of the other.”

“Don’t they say this in every case, they said they wanted to inquire about international drug trafficking on October 4, we are now on October 13. They are saying that they have connection and nexus, whom are they talking of. Khan and Merchant know each other, that’s a fact.”

The allegations levelled against Khan by the agency of illicit drug trafficking are frightening, very serious allegations they have dumped upon him. There is no material found on him, they are talking about cultivation, sale, purchase of drugs there is nothing against him and is this a responsible agency?

Khan has not been arrested for conspiracy; other persons arrested are in separate punchnama; how can they all be linked.

Senior counsel Taraq Sayyad, who argued for Merchant, told the court, “It’s a clear case of consumption. The court should immediately grant bail; there is even no need for prosecution. Both were together and they have already accepted the fact; they don’t know anybody else. They have already spent time in jail so should be granted bail.”

Ali Kashif Khan, who argued for Dhamecha, told the court, “I am a fashion model who had gone to do a ramp walk on the cruise. They recovered drugs from my room but there were two more people in the same room. I had just reached the cruise when the raid happened.”

Additional sessions judge, VV Patil, after hearing both the sides, adjourned the matter to Thursday as ASG Anil Singh wanted to further argue in the matter.

A metropolitan magistrate has rejected the bail applications of Khan, Dhamecha and Merchant, saying that they were not maintainable before it.

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Monday, October 25, 2021