Cruise ship drug case: Session Court hears bail plea of Aryan Khan

Court adjourns the hearing for tomorrow. Khan's advocate argued that there is no recovery against him, and they are saying there is recovery from Dhamecha and Gomit etc.

Cruise ship drug case: Session Court hears bail plea of Aryan Khan

Mumbai: Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan son Aryan Khan’s advocate argued that NCB has wrongly implicated Khan’s in Cruise ship drug burst case.

After hearing both sides of arguments, the Court has adjourned the hearing for tomorrow. 

Aryan Khan is wrongfully confinement without having drugs, consumption or trafficking. He was invited for a party, but there is no any substance recovered from him, Khan’s advocate Desai argued in the Session Court. Session Court has commenced the argument.  

Aryan Khan’s counsel argument

Aryan Khan’s advocate Desai argued that among accused, only two were booked under 27A (Choker and Jaswal). Wherever they said 27A can be invoked, they have, but not with Khan, because there is no recovery, Bench and Bar reported.

Between 16:50 on Oct 2 and 14:00 of Oct 3, he was being searched? They took his mobile phone, but what is the section they invoked? Not 27A. Because they are aware that Khan is not involved in illicit trafficking.

There is no recovery against him, and they are saying there is recovery from Dhamecha and Gomit etc. Nothing from this boy (Aryan Khan), he was not even on the cruise and they say illicit trafficking!

So this whole incident begins in the afternoon of October 2, when he (Aryan) was invited on the party on cruise ship. He was invited by a person who may not be an organizer - Prateek Gabba... But he is not arrested.

NCB objections to bail applications: Aryan Khan and Merchant have been associated in close collaboration with each other which is sufficient to attract offences under Section 29 NDPS act. It is so far apparent that Aachit and Harijan supplied charas to Khan and Merchant. There is material on record to show that Khan was in touch with some persons abroad who appear to be a part of an international drug network for illicit procurement of drugs. The investigation is still in progress: NCB to Mumbai court

The NCB in its reply has stated that the material collected during investigation has primarily revealed that Khan has played a role in so far as illicit procurement and distribution of contraband is concerned, reported in Bar and Bench.

The investigation reveals that all persons form part of larger chain and their involvement in conspiracy and commit illegal acts cannot be ruled out.

In the same CR, there have been several seizures in intermediary quantity from co-accused; there has also been seizure of commercial quantity of mephedrone from one accused. Thus, one of these applicants cannot be considered in isolation.

Considering the influence that Aryan Khan holds in the society, it is very much possible that he may tamper with evidence and influence other witnesses whom he personally knows.

Also the possibility of the applicant fleeing justice cannot be ruled out. Section 37 rigours (against grant of bail) applicable as sections 28 and 29 are invoked, NCB contended.

Mere speculation that maximum punishment against this applicant is one year is purely based on surmises and conjectures when NCB has sufficient material to show ingredients of conspiracy, stated in reply.

Relevance of CCTV footage will be decided at the time of trial and not at this primary juncture when the investigation is at the initial stage and is ongoing and form a part of investigative material. Such demand would cause great prejudice to ongoing investigation.

A bare perusal of the panchnama clearly reveals that Khan and Merchant were apprehended at the international cruise green gate Mumbai. So the investigation becomes imperative as to how the accused were to enter the cruise without a Classic MV Empress Card, NCB pointed out, the Bar and Bench reported.

All ingredients of crime that is preparation, intention, attempt and commission are present for this applicant. The allegation of false implication is untrue and misleading as there in sufficient material in the form of whatsapp chats, pictures, NCB explained.

Khan was accused of being used to procure contraband and the contraband was found in the custody of Merchant. The investigations pertaining to transactions abroad need to be investigated and are being investigated, NCB.

The Case:

Aryan Khan was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 2, 2021, after the NCB raided a cruise en route to Goa from Mumbai.

Khan was charged with offenses under Section 8(c), 20(b), 27, 28, 29 and 35 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. He had been remanded to NCB custody till October 4 which was extended till October 7, 2021.

On October 2, NCB's zonal director Sameer Wankhede led a team of officers for a raid at the International Terminal of Mumbai Port Trust from where the Cordelia Cruise liner was to depart for Goa

Eight people were detained after the NCB allegedly seized intermediate and small quantities of cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), charas and Rs 1,33,000 cash.
Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha were the first to be arrested. They were booked under sections 8(c) read with 20b (purchase), 27 (consumption)

28 (attempt to commit offence), 29 (abetment/ conspiracy) and 35 (presumption of culpable mental state) of the NDPS Act, after six and five grams of  charas was allegedly seized from Merchant and Dhamecha respectively. However nothing was recovered from Khan.

So far, the NCB has arrested 18 people in the case and recovered commercial quantities of drug, as well. The agency arrested several individuals after the cruise that was allowed to set sail following the raid, returned from Goa, on Monday. Those arrested include 10 guests, four event organisers, two alleged suppliers and one consumer.
Eight people are booked under the stringent section 27A of the NDPS Act for financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders attracting a 20 year jail term
The Court is hearing bail applications of Aryan Khan, Nupur Satija, Aachit Kumar, Arbaaz Merchant, Mohak Jaswal, Munmun Dhamecha, Shreyas Nair and Avin Sahu which are all listed on board for hearing.