Here are some points observed by the special NDPS court that rejected actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s bail plea on Wednesday.
- Aryan’s lawyers could move the Bombay HC on Thursday
- 23-year-old Aryan Khan is lodged at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai since Oct 15
- Aryan was in ‘conscious possession of drugs’ since he knew about contraband recovered from Arbaaz: Court
Aryan Khan has been lodged at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai. According to reports, Aryan’s lawyers could move the Bombay High Court on Thursday seeking bail for their client.
In an 18-page order on Wednesday, Judge VV Patil held that prima facie there is evidence against actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan.
Here are some of the key observations of the court:
‘Aryan knew about drug in Arbaaz’s shoe’
Judge Patil wrote that though Aryan Khan was not found in possession of drugs, Aryan and Arbaaz Merchantt are good friends. They travelled together to the International Cruise Terminal on October 2 and in their voluntary statement, spoke about the drugs, which implies that Aryan knew about the contraband.
“Admittedly, accused nos. 1 (Aryan Khan) and 2 (Arbaaz Merchantt) are friends since long. They travelled together and they were apprehended together at the international cruise terminal. Further, in their voluntary statements, both of them disclosed that they were possessing the said substance for their consumption and for enjoyment. Thus, all these things go to show that accused 1 was having knowledge of contraband concealed by 2 in his shoes,” the order read.
‘Since Aryan had knowledge, he was in conscious possession of drugs’
Judge Patil wrote in the order, “In the present case also, though, no contraband is found from accused no. 1 (Aryan Khan), six grams of charas was found from accused no. 2 (Arbaaz Merchantt), of which accused no. 1 was having knowledge. Thus, it can be said that it was in conscious possession of both the accused.”
“Hence, all the submissions made on behalf of applicant/accused in this regard cannot be accepted,” the order read.
Aryan Khan’s lawyers had argued in court that since no drugs were found on him, he was not in conscious possession of any banned substance.
‘WhatsApp chats discussing drugs in large quantity’
Judge Patil noted that “perusal of WhatsApp chats reveals that there are chats of accused no.1 (Aryan Khan) about drugs with unknown persons”.
“There is also reference of bulk quantities and hard drugs in the chats. There is prima-facie material showing that applicant/accused no 1 was in contact with persons dealing in prohibited narcotic substances as alleged by the prosecution,” the order read.
‘Prima facie case of conspiracy’
In addition, Judge Patil also wrote in the order, “The record reveals that there is incriminating material in the form of WhatsApp chat etc. which shows the nexus of the applicant/accused no.1 (Aryan Khan) with suppliers and peddlers. There are also WhatsApp chats of applicant/accused no. 2 (Arbaaz Merchantt). Moreover, accused no.1 to 8 came to be arrested on the cruise and they were found with a certain amount of contraband.”
“Respondents (NCB) had received specific information that a rave party had been organized on the cruise and the accused persons were arriving with contraband and in pursuance of the information, the raid was affected. Further, during the interrogation, they disclosed the names of persons who supplied contraband to them. Thus, all these facts prima-facie go to show that the accused acted in conspiracy with each other. It transpires that all the accused are connected in the same thread. The aspect of proving the conspiracy which deals with depth is required to be considered only at the time of trial. But prima-facie, it appears that there is a case of conspiracy and abetment as alleged by the prosecution. Hence, Section 29 of the NDPS Act is applicable,” the order read.
‘Aryan Khan case similar to that of Rhea Chakraborty’s brother Showik’
The Bombay HC had refused to grant bail to Showik Chakraborty on the grounds that his WhatApp chats showed that he was directly dealing with drug peddlers.
Judge VV Patil observed that like in Showik’s case where Section 29 of the NDPS Act was invoked for a conspiracy angle, here too, it was the same. “While dealing with conspiracy as it is a wider concept, it requires a depth of enquiry during the trial,” he wrote in the order.
The court further added, “Prima facie there is material to indicate that the accused are part of a larger network. As held in the case of Showik Chakraborty (supra), since the accused are part of the conspiracy, each of them is liable for the entire quantity of drugs seized. Cases of each accused cannot be segregated from each other and cannot be considered in isolation.”
Showik Chakraborty was arrested by NCB in 2020 for allegedly providing late actor Sushant Singh Rajput with drugs. Chakraborty was remanded to judicial custody on September 9 and granted bail on December 12 of last year.