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Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan is escorted by law enforcement officials from the Narcotics Control Bureau office and taken for a medical check up, in Mumbai, India, Friday, Oct. 08, 2021. Image Credit: AP

The Esplanade Court in Mumbai on Friday began hearing on the bail pleas of Aryan Khan and others in connection with a drug seizure on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast.

A Mumbai court on Thursday sent Aryan Khan and seven others to judicial custody for 14 days.

The Court yesterday said that the case will now be heard by special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) court.

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A Mumbai court on Thursday sent Aryan Khan and seven others to judicial custody for 14 days. Image Credit: AFP

As many as 18 arrests have been made in the cruise ship raid case so far. A total of 17 have been produced before the court and 18th person is yet to be produced before the Mumbai court.

Achit Kumar, who is the 17th person arrested by the NCB, was today remanded to NCB custody till October 9. His arrest was made after his name was disclosed by Aryan Khan and Arbaz Seth Merchant.

An NCB team busted an alleged drug party on the Cordelia Cruise ship that was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on the night of October 2. Eight people including Aryan Khan, Arbaz Seth Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Vikrant Chhoker, Ismeet Singh, Nupur Sarika, Gomit Chopra, and Mohak Jaswal were produced before Mumbai’s Esplanade Court earlier, which remanded them to NCB custody till October 7. Today, they were again produced before the court which then remanded them to judicial custody.

They were arrested on October 3 in connection with the drug seizure on the cruise ship.

As per the NCB, eight people have been booked under Section 8C, 20B, 27 (Punishment for consumption of any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance), 35 (Presumption of culpable mental state) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act), 28 and 29.

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8C of NDPS Act refers to prohibition to produce, manufacture, possess, sell, purchase, transport, warehouse, use, consume, import inter-State, export inter-State, import into India, export from India or tranship any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance while Section 20B deals with punishment for producing, manufacturing, possessing, selling, purchasing, transportation, imports inter-State, exports inter-State or use of cannabis.

Satish Maneshinde, the lawyer arguing in defence of Aryan Khan said in the Court, “Accused number 1, Aryan Khan was invited for the cruise party. However, he did not have a boarding pass. He didn’t have any seats or cabins there. Secondly, according to the seizure, nothing has been found in his possession. He is arrested only based on chats.”

NCB has also arrested Abdul Qadir Sheikh, Shreyas Nair, Manish Darya, Avin Sahu among others.