‘Waited 34,560 minutes…’: Arbaaz Merchant's father after son gets bail in cruise drug case
As the Bombay high court on Thursday granted bail to actor Shah Rukh Khan's son, Aryan, and two others--Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha--in connection with the drugs-on-cruise case, Arbaaz's father Aslam Merchant said that his family spent 34,560 minutes waiting for this moment, adding that Aryan too was like a son to him.
“Not days, but we were waiting for this moment for the last 34,560 minutes. These children have been behind bars for so long. Aryan, too, is like my own son. My wife was counting in minutes, not days. So, you should remember the agony of these people. These children have been traumatised,” Aslam Merchant told the media, minutes after the high court's order, which will see the trio get released from jail after nearly four weeks.
He further called for the system to be improved to a “greater extent.” He said, “Going to jail is traumatic. Just imagine the plight of so many others who are in jail. Today, when our own children are on that side, we understand how agonising it is.”
Though the high court has granted them bail, Aryan, Arbaaz and Munmun will not be immediately released. They are likely to walk out on Friday or Saturday, once the detailed court order is out, former attorney general of India, Mukul Rohatgi, who represented Aryan in court, said after the order.
Aryan, who is 23, and his friends Arbaaz and Munmun, were part of a group which was detained on October 2, when a team of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), lead by its zonal director Sameer Wankhede, raided Goa-bound Cordelia cruise. A day later, eight people, including the trio, were formally arrested. After multiple rejections of their bail pleas, Aryan's legal team moved the Bombay HC on October 21.
The court heard the case for three days, from October 26 to 28.