Drugs case: Aryan Khan's lawyers to plead Bombay HC to hear bail plea on urgent basis
Aryan Khan's lawyers are expected to plead the Bombay high court on Thursday to hear his bail plea in the cruise drugs case on an urgent basis, a day after a special Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) court in Mumbai rejected the 23-year-old's application observing that he was indulging in “illicit drug activities” on a regular basis, and could commit a similar offence if released.
Along with Aryan Khan, his fellow cruise members Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha also had their bail pleas rejected on Wednesday by the NDPS court. Soon after the decision was taken, Khan moved an application in the Bombay high court against the special NDPS court order. Arbaaz Merchant's lawyer also said that his client will move the high court today to challenge the NDPS court order. Dhamecha, too, is likely to follow.
“We are trying to move the bail application of Arbaaz Merchant in Bombay high court,” Arbaaz Merchant's lawyer Ali Kasif told the news agency ANI on Wednesday.
The special NDPS court in Mumbai heard the bail petitions of all three accused in the cruise drugs case at 2:45pm on Wednesday and rejected those after observing that Khan, Merchant, and Dhamecha acted in conspiracy with each other and that all of them are connected in the same thread. The judge accepted the Narcotics Control Bureau's (NCB) argument that all the accused were part of a large drug network.
Among other observations, the court noted that Aryan Khan is in touch with other drug dealers. “In the case at hand, material placed on record reveals that there is incriminating material in the form of WhatsApp chats, etc which shows the nexus of the applicant / accused no. 1 with suppliers and peddlers,” the judge said in his 21-page order.
In Khan's WhatsApp chats, there is a reference to “bulk quantity” and “hard drugs” and “there is prima facie material showing that accused No 1 was in contact with persons dealing in prohibited narcotic substances”, the order added.
Notably, the NCB team had at mid-sea busted the alleged drugs party on October 2 aboard a Cordelia Cruise ship that was on its way to Goa. A total of 20 people, including two Nigerian nationals, Delhi-based event management professionals, and Mumbai-based drug peddlers, have so far been arrested in the case related to the seizure of drugs from the ship.
Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant are lodged at Arthur Road jail, while Munmun Dhamecha is lodged at the women's prison in Byculla.