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Aryan Khan drugs case: Mumbai court expected to pass order on bail plea today

Aryan Khan has been lodged in Arthur Road jail as qaidi number N956. Khan, the son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, was among eight people arrested after an NCB raid on a cruise ship anchored in Mumbai on October 2. His bail petitions have so far been rejected.
Aryan Khan is escorted to court by Narcotics Control Bureau officials for a bail plea hearing in Mumbai on October 8.(AFP Photo)
Published on Oct 20, 2021 05:57 AM IST
Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) court will on Wednesday hear the bail plea of Aryan Khan. The 23-year-old is in Arthur Road jail; he was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) during a raid on a cruise ship on October 2.

Khan was initially sent to the custody of NCB for questioning, but a Mumbai court later denied NCB's plea for further extension of custody and sent Khan to 14-day judicial remand on October 7. His multiple bail petitions have so far been rejected.

Besides Khan, the bail application of other accused Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha will also be heard on Wednesday.

The court had posted the matter for October 20 after hearing arguments on October 13 and 14. Additional Session Judge VV Patil had said that he would pronounce his order on October 20.

Khan, the son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, was among eight people arrested after an NCB raid on Cordelia, a holiday cruise ship anchored in Mumbai that was set to leave for Goa later that evening.

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Following the raid in which 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of mephedrone, 21 grams of charas, and 22 pills of MDMA (ecstasy) and a sum of 1.33 lakh in cash was recovered, 20 people were arrested under various sections of the NDPS Act.

In the last hearing, the NCB told the court that there was evidence to show that Khan was a regular consumer of drugs for the past few years. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh said the accused (others along with Khan) were going to the cruise and "planned to have a blast".

While the agency said nothing was recovered from Khan personally, his WhatsApp chats reveal links with drug peddlers, some of them part of an international drug trafficking network. The NCB was in touch with the external affairs ministry to identify people in the network, the ASG said.

Khan's lawyer Amit Desai said the agency can't rely on WhatsApp chats to arrest his client. He argued that these chats needed to be seen in context of the language of the youth, which may seem to be a "torture" for the older generation. Desai also rejected all the allegations of Khan's link with drug peddlers or illicit drug trafficking.

Khan's arrest has led to political slugfest in Maharashtra, with the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance slamming the central agency and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hitting back alleging the NCB probe into the larger drug nexus is being hindered which will be bad for the country.

Meanwhile, Khan has been given his qaidi number which is N956. He is being kept in the general cell. He was recently allowed to speak to his parents Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan via video call from inside Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail for 10 minutes and also received a money order of 4,500 from them.

Khan was counselled along with the seven others at the NCB office on Sunday where he told the officers that from now on, he would work for the society and devote himself to the country and the poor.

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