ASG Anil Singh, for NCB, said Aryan Khan is booked under sections of the NDPS Act which prohibits production, possession, selling, purchase, consumption of drugs.
On October 4, a Mumbai court ordered Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha to be remanded in Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) custody until October 7. The son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, along with seven others, were detained post a raid conducted by the anti-drugs agency and headed by its Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede on Saturday from a Mumbai to Goa commercial cruise operated by Cordelia Cruises. The raid concluded after sleuths seized banned drugs in bulk quantity and in intermediate quantities as per statutory provisions, the NCB said.
Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan under arrest in Mumbai cruise drug bust case
During the remand hearing on Monday, Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG) Anil Singh, appearing on behalf of NCB, submitted before the court that Aryan Khan is accused of Section 8(c) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) which prohibits the production, manufacturing, possession, selling, purchase, consumption of any psychotropic substance which requires a permit, Section 20(b) of the NDPS Act for the wrongful possession of more than ‘small quantity’ of cannabis, Section 27 of the NDPS which pertains to the consumption of a narcotic drug, i.e. cocaine, etc. along with Section 35 of the said Act which covers the intentions of the accused and presumes one is aware of their actions and shall be held guilty unless proven innocent. Accordingly, the NCB sought custody of the accused.
Aryan Khan’s phone reveals ‘chats about drugs’ with others: ASG Singh to court
In addition, Advocate Anil Singh and NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede specified that Aryan Khan has been arrested under sections of the NDPS Act related to ‘consumption’.
NCB in its arguments said, “We have received some information, and then conducted raids. Further, there are five more connected persons under investigation who were apprehended over suspicious transactions. NCB arrested one more person. So we need their custody to unearth the nexus”.
Anil Singh further said that “WhatsApp chats (of the accused) clearly shows the nexus after which NCB conducted searches. Aryan Khan’s phone has been seized. There are several suspected chats that show the connection with the dealers. Chats show the discussions of cash transactions of Aryan Khan. It is necessary to confront all in the custodial remand.” Moreover, he revealed that there were international transactions.
Meanwhile, lawyer Satish Maneshinde, appearing for Aryan Khan, argued that his client was present at the event comprising of 1,300 people only on a ‘special invite’ and was not even aware of the fold of events. ASG Singh pressed his case that Aryan Khan had gone after-all on an invitation and was present at the raided party (Cordelia Cruise) ‘among people who have been apprehended with drugs.
NCB wants to crack ‘international drug nexus’, allegedly evident in Aryan Khan’s chats
After the NCB told the court they require custody of the accused to investigate the drug nexus and revealed international transactions had also allegedly been detected from the accused’s WhatsApp chats, Maneshinde claimed Aryan Khan’s WhatsApp chats were clean. The central anti-drugs agency told the court that they required time to probe ‘suspicious transactions’ which constitute offences under laws of the land.
Notably, the special prosecutor for the NCB, Advocate Advait Sethna while seeking Aryan Khan’s custody, told the court that there is prima facie material in the form of WhatsApp chats implicating nexus of respondents (three arrested on Sunday) ‘with peddlers and suppliers on a regular basis’.
Also, Maneshinde pleaded with the court to consider Khan’s bail application, however, ASG Anil Singh said that the argument should be on NCB remand custody and not on bail plea. Maneshinde said that that the probe would be based on the cooperation of all sides and therefore Aryan Khan should be granted judicial custody. However, the ASG countered that it was a non-bailable offence and the question of bail does not arise.
“There are chats between you (Aryan Khan) and others about drugs. So there, must be a thorough investigation of all these things,” ASG Singh said to the special NCB court.
Mumbai court gives NCB custody of Aryan Khan till October 7
Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha have been remanded to NCB custody until October 7 as the court stated that it was of the view that investigation is of prime importance.
“Considering the aspect, the presence of accused with NCB is necessary. Accused remanded till October 7,” the court has ordered.
Hereafter, the court is required to hear the case of the public prosecutor as provided under Section 37 of the NDPS Act. This relates to a provision under the Act, where if the offences are non-bailable, the court is required to hear the public prosecutor and be satisfied that there are ‘reasonable grounds’ the accused has not committed offences before granting bail. Basis quantity of the seized contraband, sections under the NDPS Act is determined which further provides for whether an offence is bailable or not. Therefore, time was essential to the investigation to evaluate whether charges pressed against the arrested stand at what degree under the NDPS Act.