Aryan Khan denied bail for the fifth time, his lawyers approach Bombay High Court

Published : October 20, 2021 18:26 IST

Aryan Khan (left) being taken to Arthur Road jail, Mumbai, after his arrest on October 8. Photo: PTI

Aryan Khan, the 23-year-old son of Hindi film actor Shahrukh Khan who was arrested on October 3 on charges of possession and consumption of illegal drugs in what is now known as the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise-ship case, has been denied bail for the fifth time. On October 20, a Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act special court rejected his and the bail applications of two of Aryan Khan’s friends Arbaaz Merchant and Munmum Dhamecha. Following the denial of bail, Aryan Khan’s lawyers immediately moved the Bombay High Court seeking bail.

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which was responsible for the alleged drug busts in the cruise liner, opposed the bail plea saying they had sufficient material to establish that Aryan Khan was in touch with people abroad who appeared to be part of an international drug trafficking network. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the NCB, had argued at the last hearing on October 14 that the accused could tamper with evidence if released on bail, hampering the investigation. Singh said the NCB had proof in the form of WhatsApp chats of the accused which refer to bulk quantities of drugs and chats with a foreign national.

Aryan Khan, who has been serving time at the Arthur Road jail as a regular inmate, has completely denied possessing or consuming the “six grams of charas” that were “found” on him. His lawyer argued in court that the boy “by no stretch of imagination” can be involved in an illicit drug trafficking racket as accused by the NCB. His lawyer said even if he did consume the substance, it is a bailable offence which attracts a maximum punishment of one year.

The case, which initially appeared to be a regular drug raid at a party, has over the past two weeks snowballed into a scandal. Commentators say televison media, fixated with Bollywood, have sensationalised the story in its quest for ratings. The film fraternity have come out in support of Shahrukh Khan, who many believe is being targeted by the Centre. Several social media posts say this is a clear message from the ruling regime at the Centre that even the most influential and wealthy will not spared if they do not fall in line.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor