Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, has been granted bail in the Bombay High Court. Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha also got bail in the drugs-on-cruise case on October 28.
Justice N.W. Sambre will pass a detailed order in the matter on October 29. Accordingly, the trio of Khan, Merchant and Dhamecha will not step out of jail until the court's orders are received, said a defence lawyer.
Senior advocate and former attorney general of India Mukul Rohatgi, who is defending Aryan, and advocate Satish Maneshine were at the court in Mumbai. On October 27, Rohatgi argued that Aryan was a “young man” who should be sent to rehab rather than jail.
The 23-year-old star kid was arrested on October 3 after a drugs raid on a cruise ship party by Narcotics Control Bureau officers in disguise.
At the court today, NCB’s counsel, Additional Solicitor General of India Anil Singh, opposed Aryan’s bail plea.
“Accused no 1 [Aryan Khan] is not a first-time consumer of drugs, he was in contact with drug peddlers,” he said.
He further argued that even if someone is not in possession of drugs but is a part of the conspiracy, then he will be punishable under the same section of the law.
“Arbaaz is Aryan Khan’s childhood friend. Even if you are not in possession [of drugs] but you are part of the conspiracy, then you will be punishable under the same section of the law,” he said.
During the NCB raid, Arbaaz Merchant was allegedly found with 6g of charas hidden in his shoe.
Wankhede also moved the Bombay High Court on Thursday, seeking interim protection from arrest or any coercive action against him.
He sought an urgent hearing of his plea challenging the Mumbai police's decision to form a four-member team to investigate the allegations of extortion and corruption against him, in the aftermath of the cruise drugs case in which actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan was arrested. The Maharashtra government initially opposed the plea but subsequently, chief public prosecutor Aruna Pai assured the court that it will give prior notice of arrest to Wankhede.
"We assure the court that three working days' notice will be given (to Wankhede) before arrest by Mumbai Police," Pai said.
The HC disposed of the plea following the state government's statement.
The lawyers of the three accused, Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha presented their arguments at the court in the last two days. However, the NCB began presenting its arguments in the case today.
At present, Aryan is lodged at the Arthur Road Jail along with Merchant. Whereas, Munmun Dhamecha is at Byculla Women’s Prison.
October 3: Actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant and model Munmun Dhamecha were arrested and remanded to NCB custody till the next day, that is, October 4.
October 4: Aryan Khan and others were again produced before the city court. The NCB claims photos and chats in Aryan’s phone point to an international drug trafficking. The court remands them in further custody till October 7.
October 5: Four more accused were arrested in the matter and were sent to NCB custody till October 14.
October 7: A foreign national was arrested in the matter from Mumbai’s Bandra area. Further, the Mumbai court sent Aryan Khan and seven others to judicial custody for 14 days. Aryan Khan seeks bail.
October 8: The metropolitan magistrate’s court rejected the bail applications filed by Aryan Khan, his friend Arbaaz Merchant and anchor-model Munmun Dhamecha, stating they were not maintainable before it. Further, Aryan Khan and other accused were brought to Arthur Road jail.
October 11: Lawyers of the accused moved a Mumbai special court designated under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Special Court decided to hear the case on October 14. The defence lawyers opposed the one-week time sought by the NCB.
October 13: Aryan’s bail application gets adjourned till Thursday, 12 noon (October 14) by Mumbai sessions court.
October 14: Pune City Police has issued a lookout notice for Kiran Gosavi, the witness in the NCB raid on the cruise ship off the Mumbai coast. Further, the Mumbai Special NDPS court reserves its order for October 20 on the bail application of Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha. Aryan Khan fails to secure bail and was sent back to jail till Wednesday, October 20.
October 20: Special NDPS court rejects bail plea of Aryan Khan and other accused.
October 21: Shah Rukh Khan meets Aryan Khan in jail. Mumbai’s Special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) court extended the judicial custody of Aryan Khan and others till October 30.
October 24: The bodyguard of NCB witness Kiran Gosavi, Prabhakar Rohoji Sail alleged that Gosavi took Rs5 million from an individual after the raid at the cruise. Sail is also a witness in the case.
October 26: Bombay High Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing on the bail application of Aryan Khan.
October 28: Kiran Gosavi was arrested by Pune police. The Bombay High Court resumes hearing on Aryan Khan bail application. Aryan Khan gets bail.
Meanwhile, the NCB has ordered a vigilance inquiry into the claims made by Prabhakar Sail, a witness in the cruise drugs case, of an extortion bid of Rs250 million by some agency officials, including its Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede, for letting off Aryan Khan.
- With inputs from agencies