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On October 13, Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s bail hearing was adjourned to the next day which meant that he would have to spend another night in Arthur Jail in Mumbai. The hearing was held on October 13 at the Mumbai’s Session Court following his arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 3. Three days ago, Aryan’s bail plea was rejected for the second time and he was lodged in Arthur Road Jail. The current bail hearing began today afternoon and went on for several hours on October 13 with NCB and Aryan’s legal counsel passionately arguing their cases. The Additional Solicitor General representing the NCB reportedly said that the release of an accused like Aryan would hamper the NCB’s investigation into the drug trade. According to the updates on Times of India, he said: “It is not just about one person’s consumption. We have to reach the gang which is operating.” The NCB’s lawyer claims that they have retrieved enough material over WhatsApp chats that will establish that Aryan was involved in illicit procurement of drugs. They also claimed that they have messages which show Aryan’s exchange with drug peddlers with international links.
Image Credit: PTI
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During the bail hearing on October 13, NCB lawyers also claimed that Bollywood star-kid Aryan has alleged links to an ‘international drug network’, a charge that was strongly denied by Aryan’s legal team. The NCB legal team also told in court that Aryan had allegedly procured contraband from Arbaaz Merchant, who was detained along with Aryan during the drug bust on October 2. But Aryan’s lawyers have refuted their claims and said that since no drugs were found on Aryan, he shouldn’t be clubbed with Merchant on whom some drugs were found. They also argued that NCB’s allegation of illicit trafficking is “absurd”. Their 23-year-old client was not even on the vessel, they claimed.
Image Credit: ANI
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During the hearing, Aryan Khan’s lawyer Amit Desai — who joined veteran lawyer Satish Maneshinde on the same case — argued in court that his client Aryan didn’t have cash, so he couldn’t buy drugs; and since he didn’t buy drugs, he wasn’t going to consume any. According to NDTV, his lawyers were heard telling the court many times that no drugs were found on Aryan, and of all the drugs seized, only 6g of charas was found with Arbaaz Merchant for his own consumption and they were not for sale.
Image Credit: ANI Photo
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Senior advocate Desai, during the bail hearing, also implored the judge not to penalise his client. According to Times of India, he told the judge that these ‘young kids’ have learnt their lesson. He also argued that in several countries around the world these substances are legal. “Let us not penalise in bail. Let us not make it worse for them. They have suffered enough, they have learnt their lesson, if at all. They are not peddlers, racketeers or traffickers,” said Desai, according to a report in ToI.
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For the third time since the ordeal began for Shah Rukh Khan and his family, his peer and actor Salman Khan visited the actor’s residence. On October 13, he was spotted visiting Mannat to give moral support to his colleague. Lawyers Maneshinde and Desai have worked with Salman Khan and defended the troubled superstar in the hit-and-run case.
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As the bail hearing progressed on October 13 afternoon, actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha threw his weight behind Shah Rukh and his family. In an interview with ETimes, senior Congress leader Sinha said: “Shah Rukh is definitely the reason why the boy is being targeted. There are other names like Munmun Dhamecha and Arbaaz Merchant, but nobody is talking about them. The last time such a thing happened, the focus was on Deepika Padukone, although there were other names involved, and known names too, but the focus was on her only.”
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Barring a clutch of actors such as Hrithik Roshan and Salman Khan who have openly supported Shah Rukh during this ordeal, not many Bollywood actors have thrown their weight behind the A-lister. Sinha had an explanation for the stoic silence. “Nobody wants to come forward. Everyone thinks it’s the other person’s problem and he should deal with it. They want the person to fight his own battle. The industry is a bunch of scared folks.”
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Shah Rukh Khan's close friend and colleague Hrithik Roshan and his ex-wife Sussanne Khan were an exception. While Roshan wrote an open letter on his Instagram telling Aryan to remain strong under fire, Sussanne in a column for a newspaper claimed that Aryan was being targeted and witch-hunted for being a part of Bollywood. During the bail hearing, the hashtag #WeLoveShahRukhKhan also began trending with his army of fans praying for the actor's ordeal to end.
Image Credit: Instagram/@hrithikroshan
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Interestingly on October 13, as Aryan’s bail hearing was progressing in Mumbai, late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty shared a cryptic post on her Instagram. The post read: “Grow through what you go through.” Chakraborty was also jailed for a month and granted bail for her alleged involvement in a drug abuse case linked to Rajput’s death. Chakraborty was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau on September 8 for her alleged involvement in procuring marijuana for late actor Rajput, who was found dead at his Mumbai residence in 2020.
Image Credit: Twitter/Rhea Chakraborty
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Actors like Hrithik Roshan and Salman Khan may have openly supported Shah Rukh Khan during his personal crisis, but actress Kangana Ranaut wasn’t in any mood to support the superstar. Earlier this week, she took a dig at Shah Rukh for not followed Jackie Chan’s footsteps. When Chan’s son was arrested over drug charges, he famously apologised to his fans. Shah Rukh Khan is yet to make any statement or speak about his son’s arrest. Earlier today, his manager of nine years Pooja Dadlani filed an application to enter the bail hearing at the court as Shah Rukh’s representative.
Image Credit: Instagram/KanganaRanaut
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Actress, director and producer Pooja Bhatt also tweeted her support for Shah Rukh and wrote on her social media page that ‘it too shall pass’. Singer Suchitra Krishnamoorthy, who has acted with Shah Rukh, also threw her weight behind him and his family.
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The arrest of Shah Rukh Khan’s son after a drug raid has captured the imagination and fascination of India. The grim episode, that’s costing Shah Rukh several endorsement deals and brand erosion, also descended into a political slug fest. According to reports, Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress have labelled the NCB raids a politically motivated ‘hoax’ besides demanding an independent enquiry against the central agency and its officials. NCB has denied those allegations claiming that they are an independent agency working towards clearing up the drug menace in the city.
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