On Friday, the Mumbai magistrate court had rejected Aryan Khan's earlier bail plea. (File)
Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's 23-year-old son Aryan Khan did not get bail in the drugs-on-cruise case today from a Mumbai sessions court that reserved the order till Wednesday, sending him back to jail.
Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan - Accused No. 1 for the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) - allegedly "indulged in illicit drug trafficking", and was in touch with "some persons abroad who appear to be a part of an International Drug Network" to procure a "bulk quantity of hard drugs", the anti-narcotics agency said in a statement to the court on Wednesday.
The NCB today told the court that "evidence showed" Aryan Khan frequently took banned substances; Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the central agency, also referred to on-record statements to claim that Aryan Khan has been consuming drugs for the last few years.
Aryan Khan was "not even on the cruise" raided by NCB officers on October 2, so the allegation of drug trafficking against him is "absurd", his lawyer Amit Desai told the Mumbai court on Wednesday in response to the NCB's claims.
Aryan Khan, 23, was arrested along with his friend Arbaaz Merchant and six others after the October 2 mid-sea drugs raid on the goa-bound Cordelia cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai.
He has been in a Mumbai jail since Friday.
Here are the Highlights on the Mumbai Drug Bust Case involving Aryan Khan:
Aryan Khan, Now 'Undertrial N956', Moved To Mumbai Jail's Barracks
Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan has been designated Undertrial Number N956 after being shifted to the barracks at Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail where he has been kept since his arrest in the drugs-on-cruise case earlier this month.
Aryan Khan was shifted to a common cell after testing negative for COVID-19, the jail superintendent had said earlier in the day. Along with Aryan Khan, five other men who were arrested in the case too have been shifted out of the quarantine barrack in the jail, the official said.
"Aryan Khan and five others shifted to the common cell from quarantine barrack in the jail after their Covid report came negative," Nitin Waychal, superintendent of Arthur Road Jail said.
Aryan Khan has been shifted to common cell in Arthur Road Jail and his under-trial (UT) number is N956
JustIn | Mumbai Sessions court to pronounce order on Aryan Khan bail plea on October 20.
Court Update | Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan): The fundamental argument is that there was a rave party. I was not found with anything. I cannot be held responsible. There is nothing on the phone about the messages about rave party.
This young man was overseas for a while. In those countries some times lot of things are legitimate. I don't know what kind of chats are there. I have not seen. The possibility of conspiracy and speculation cannot hold me back in this case.
ASG has argued that Toofan is not applicable for bail. But in fact it says that it is applicable even at the stage of bail.
The chat messages which they tried to suggest is evidence is an extra-judicial is confession which is a weak form of evidence. And the chats have no section 65B certificate.
Let him be a free man. Let strict conditions be imposed upon him. But this is a fit case for bail. Even if 37(2) I have satisfied requirements under that and there are no antecedents.
Court Update | Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan): They say we are in touch with MEA and all. Well you go ahead and continue. But this allegation is inherently absurd and false.
What is this kind of conversation that the new generation is dealing with. Today's whatsapp chats of friends can sound different.
These are private moments which are being investigated. You can go ahead and investigate...But this has nothing to with illicit behaviour, Illicit drug trafficking. Context is important when we deal with evidentiary value.
Let us keep all that aside. My humble Submission is that the entire reason to believe did not include 28 and 29.
Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan): Please bear in mind one other reality. Today's generation have a means of communication, which is English..not the Queen's English.. it's sometimes what the older generation will call a torture. The way they communicate is very different.
Adv Desai says that conversions on chats can often be misunderstood. Desai - WhatsApp chats are supposed to be private conversations. But I am told there are no messages or conversations on the mobile about the rave party.
Court Update | Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan): The link if at all, but the investigation is over. This commercial quantity is the link for 37(2). But please forget the chart. The link is Abdul.
Who gave them Abdul's name? It was not Khan, merchant, or Abdul or Aachit. That name is given by Mohak and this is their own statement.
We therefore for a moment go to Showik Chakraborty and see the judgment.
What he should have shown was the observation of the court.
The judge has shown all the links from the peddlers to the consumers, and the court has come to the conclusion that Showik was not consuming but he was involved in facilitating the drugs and distributing the same.
Thereafter, Showik was granted bail, immediately after chargesheet.
Court Update | Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan): And Abdul is the one from whom commercial quantity is found. This is far too stretched out. If this goes on for long then what happens to reformative law.
We are at a stage where we were arrested on October 3 and now on October 14. Custody was given in bailable offence to facilitate investigation.
Then he was remanded to judicial custody. Now the learned magistrate, applied his mind and satisfied himself that the crucial stage qua my client was completed on October 7 and there was no statement recorded except the one of October 4 and no interrogation.
The magistrate said small quantity only recovered and he refused NCB custody.
All that international trafficking and global point.. if the consumer says from where he is procured it, then the chain is complete. It is NCB's statement that I gave Aachit name.
Court Update | Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan): In context of twin condition of 32 they hang their entire case on two things - conspiracy and second is seizure from Abdul of commercial quantity.
They say that you are a person at the bottom of the chain, that you are the consumer and instead of trying to reform you I will pick you up and put you in jail, till the time the conspiracy is unearthed.
Court Update | Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan): Let me read the statement. There is a statement that it was voluntarily handed over.
Amit Desai reads from the panchnama: If the phone is voluntarily taken then also there has to be something, but the panchnama says seized it was not handed over. There has to be a seizure memo.
There has to be a separate memo for that. We have forgotten these things.
Nobody stops their investigation, why should it stop my liberty! It stops at liberty, liberty and liberty!
If a gentleman is released on bail, how will there be a hindrance on the investigation.
Then they say because of S. 37(2) the burden reverses so now I must satisfy, so when we look into the matter, if released on bail it is not going to affect investigation.
Court Update | Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan) reads ASG's comment in Rhea Chakraborty's judgments.
He (ASG) argued that celebrity and role models should be treated harshly because they have influence on society.
But what does High Court say? I don't agree
I stand before he court and urge your lordships to follow the law. No celebrity or role model enjoys special status before the court and hence they should be treated equally before law.
Now couple of submissions based on law which I believe are the facts.
If he has committed crime of consumption, please see his statement.. let us assume there is confession of consumption, what is the worst punishment? 1 year.
The statement reverberates that there is a confession. But that will be tested in the course of the trial and in the larger scheme.
But the retraction that has been filed and it is on record.
Let us stick to the law and let us stick to the facts. Retractions are there.
Then this issue of mobile phone. I didn't want to get into it too much. But my colleague knowledgeable on the subject has drawn attention on the phone.
Let me deal with that.
Court Update | Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan): Nikesh Tarachand has struck down the twin conditions. And this says that bail can be granted even for ongoing investigation. The offences punishable with less than 1 year of punishment can be granted bail.
The judgment of August 24, 2021 of Bombay High Court of Harsh Shah. I am giving this because of what my friend argued at the end. I am in thh court of law, and we must know what the law is, and what judgment is applicable to us.
The problem of drug menace has been going on for a long time, but it is cases like this which bring about far more awareness. This is because of media which brings about the awareness.
Court Update | Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan) : The chain goes from Major drug peddlers, to small time peddlers and then consumers.
When it comes to drug peddling to school and college going children, it (govt policy) spoke about sensitizing them.
The fundamental amendment which took place in the Act are all pre amendment of 2001 that is my difficulty, when I say we have equal duty to constitution and equal duty to law.
Court Update | Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan): Let me start with my learned friend's conclusion and as an officer of the court and citizen of the country.
There can be no doubt on the importance of a statute on nation. There is no doubt that the world is fighting drug menace. We got our freedom, we must protect it, and ensure development of society.
We must as citizens take precautions of the health, and there is no doubt about that. Kudos to the NCB for doing this job and just hope that they continue investigation in a legal manner.
I am appreciating that the officers are risking their lives for protecting their country.
But what is equally important is that the freedom fighters he mentioned and more have fought for the constitution for the procedure of law.
Everything that he has done is correct, but it ought to have been done as per law. There are types of drugs and types of drug menace and the govt has to decide what has to be dealt with socially and what as a menace.
The government issued a policy document to fight the issue of narcotic drug issue in the country. The youth are important no doubt but there are principles of justice to be considered.
Court Update | Court: Are you relying on the WhatsApp chats?
Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Advait Sethna: Yes we have submitted the chats.
Court: I will need to see it.
Advait Sethna: We will submit original files, it is all part of investigation.
Adv Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh for Munmun Dhamecha: The sections levelled against me are 8(c), 20(b), 27, 28..
29 is not there in the arrest memo. The rigours do not apply to me.
Adv Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh Deshmukh: Even if benefit of doubt is given to me, it is a small quantity, I should be out on bail. I will abide by all conditions
Court Update | ASG is now reading Munmun Dhamecha's reply.
ASG: The rest of the arguments are common, and rest of the paragraphs are common. It is part of same conspiracy.
ASG concludes his submissions.
Court Update | So far, a total of 8 judgments have been read by the ASG, through which he is aiming to argue that the accused should not be granted bail.
ASG Anil Singh (for NCB): All I want to say through these judgments is that we are taking all matters seriously.
In another case, our officers were also killed. We take action by risking our lives. It has had an impact on the society, especially the youth.
The lawyers of the accused said in the court that they are youths, they are children, they should be given bail, but I do not believe it to be right.
I say before the court that this case will tell about the future of the youth. This is Mahatma Gandhi's country, so drugs should be banned.
We are keeping an eye on the entire chain and connection in this matter. The matter is still in the preliminary stage and more things will be revealed in the future.
So I don't want them to be bailed out, at least at this stage.
Court Update |
ASG Anil Singh (for NCB) cites another Supreme Court judgement on the point of conspiracy, noting that the Supreme Court says that there cannot be direct evidence of conspiracy as it happens in secrecy and only the conspirator would know.
ASG then cites another judgement on applicability of Section 37 and the seriousness of the crime under the NDPS Act: that as per 37's mandate, while granting bail the court must see if the accused is likely to commit a similar offence or not.
Court Update | ASG Anil Singh (for NCB), citing a third judgement, of Nawaz Khan, on recovery: Just because there is no recovery, and the accused does not have possession, it does not mean that Section 37 of the NDPS Act regarding bail cannot be invoked against him.
Court Update | ASG Anil Singh (for NCB) in continuation of the point he was making before the break: Just like Showik's judgment, I am going to be citing another similar judgment, in Union of India vs Shiv Shankar Jaising.
In this judgment, the accused had retracted his statement, but despite that, the court had given importance to the statement in this case. Retraction of a voluntary statement under Section 67 of the NDPS Act is a matter of trial.
Even though there is no retraction here, as the retraction came on the 7th, it can be considered only at trial.
Court Update | The court session resumes. The hearing for the second case (of Arbaaz Merchant) begins.
Court Update | ASG Anil Singh (for NCB) referring to the case of Showik Chakraborty, Rhea Chakraborty's brother: Showik's contention was also that nothing was recovered from him. However the court said the matter is being investigated and that he was in touch with a drug dealer.
Here Achit and Shivraj are the drug dealers. Therefore in this case also no bail can be granted.
Earlier, while giving the order, the court had observed that all sections of the NDPS Act are non-bailable.
(There is a break for lunch. The matter will now be heard further at 2:45 pm.)
Court Update | ASG Anil Singh (for NCB): It cannot be said that Aryan can only get one year imprisonment. If he is attached to the others accused, then the same punishment can be applied to him as well.
Court Update | ASG Anil Singh (for NCB): In this case, 15 to 20 people are involved and there is talk of conspiracy, as well as the matter of commercial quantity. That's why Section 29 is imposed - we can impose charges in this section.
If drugs were not found on you, but in the same case, if drugs in commercial quantity were found with others, then action can be taken against you on that basis.
My submission is that bail cannot be granted in this case, as there are too many judgements to make.
The lawyers of the accused also talked about how there is no mention of mobile phones in the Panchnama. I demand they tell me where it is written.
We got a voluntary surrender of the mobile phone. Doesn't that mean we can check it? No one can tell us how to test, we used to do all these tests in advance. You cannot put such technical things before the court.
This ground was not there in the application, so it is not mentioned in our reply.
Court Update | ASG Anil Singh (for NCB): Yesterday I heard the lawyer of the accused saying that "use" means "consumption". This is incorrect.
The definition of "use" is that it can be used for anything other than personal consumption. That is, according to the definition, it is not being used for one's own consumption.
Further, any statement provided to an NCB officer under the NDPS Act is admissible in court until proven wrong during the trial.
Court Update | ASG Anil Singh (for NCB)
reading the part of the reply in which WhatsApp chats and international drug peddling have been mentioned:
Aryan Khan did not take drugs only once, the statement that has been received shows that he has been consuming it for the last few years.
Drugs have been found on Arbaaz Merchant. Aryan was with him. It is clearly written in the Panchnama that both were about to consume the drugs.
I have already given you the Panchnama and WhatsApp chats.
Court Update | ASG Anil Singh (for NCB): Sorry for coming late. I had informed the High Court that there is a case here also.
Yesterday I wrote many things in the reply in front of you. I am further reading the reply now.
Court Update | Aryan Khan's bail hearing (day 2) begins.
Court Update | ASG Anil Singh has reached the Mumbai sessions court. Aryan Khan's bail hearing to begin.
Court Update |
Adv. Amit Desai raised the issue of the ASG not reaching the court on time, particularly in light of his delay in arriving to court yesterday as well - one which led to the court closing the session for the hearing prematurely and having it continue today.
Adv. Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan): I understand that an important matter is going on in the High Court but information should also be given here, they should think of us too.
Adv. Advait Sethna (for NCB): He has now left the High Court. Coming in a short time. We apologize.
Adv. Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan): If he is coming then it is good, but my appeal is that when he comes, then the hearing of this matter should start.
Adv. Satish Maneshinde (for Aryan Khan): I ask that, if necessary, the court should end this matter by staying back for the hearing for some time even if it is after 2 pm (2 pm to 2.45 pm is lunch time in the sessions court).
Court Update | Adv. Amit Desai (for Aryan Khan) has also reached the Mumbai sessions court. ASG Anil Singh (for NCB) still has to arrive before hearing can begin.
Aryan Khan bail hearing delayedCourt Update |
The bail hearing was to begin at noon, but Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh is currently in the High Court.
Mr Singh will come to the sessions court after debating two matters in the High Court. Therefore, there may once again be a delay in starting the hearing.
Court rejects intervention petition opposing Aryan Khan's bail plea
The Mumbai sessions court has rejected the intervention petition opposing Aryan Khan's bail plea filed by a 72-year-old social worker.
Social worker files an intervention petition opposing Aryan Khan's bail plea prior to hearing
Prior to Aryan Khan's bail hearing today, a 72-year-old social worker filed an intervention petition opposing Aryan Khan's bail plea.
The petitioner said in his petition that Aryan is a star kid, therefore his bail petition is being given great importance and absolving him of the charges on him will be wrong on the society.
Aryan Khan's legal team: The intervention petition filed is not maintainable. Petitioner is not the affected party in this case. This third party is an unknown person and thus cannot file an intervention petition.
Aryan Khan's legal team (contd.): If he is really a social worker, then has he filed such intervention petitions in any other case? This is just a publicity stunt. Therefore this petition should be dismissed.
Court Update | Shah Rukh Khan's manager Pooja Dadlani has reached the Mumbai sessions court for the second day of Aryan Khan's bail hearing, after his arrest in the drugs-on-cruise case.
Aryan Khan and five others shifted within Arthur Road Jail