The Bombay High Court on Tuesday adjourned, till Wednesday, the hearing of the bail application of superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, who has been arrested along with 19 others in the cruise party case by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
Making a forceful plea for bail to Aryan Khan, his lawyer and former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi told the court that the star-son was a special invitee to the ship through event manager Prateek Gaba.
Both Aryan and Arbaaz Merchant were caught before they boarded the ship on October 2, nothing was recovered from Aryan, and the NCB has nothing to show he consumed anything (drugs), he said.
“He was arrested on Ocober 3 and his statement recorded. There was no occasion to arrest my client, short and simple,” Rohatgi told a single judge bench of Justice N.W. Sambre.
He pointed out that even though the NCB officers are not police officers, they exercise police powers, and citing a precedent, said that confessions given to them are inadmissible as evidence.
Contending that Aryan Khan was “wrongly arrested”, Rohatgi said the only thing against him was he arrived with Merchant, and apparently had knowledge of the drugs found on the latter, and hence, had “conscious possession”.
However, in Aryan Khan’s case, there was no conscious possession at all and even if this is considered the maximum punishment is one year for the 6 gms (seized from Merchant).
He also questioned the NCB’s charges under various acts including charging him with conspiracy, and said that the WhatsApp chats recovered from Aryan Khan’s phone, which are cited but not on record, don’t relate to the cruise party.
Moreover, he said even if there was a plan to smoke there, it was aborted as they were arrested before, but the penalty (by the NCB) was of consumption, and argued that there was no case of either consumption, sale, or purchase of drugs.
Rohatgi said that Aryan is not accusing anybody from the NCB nor concerned or connected with the ‘Panch Witness’ (Prabhakar Sail or Kiran Gosavi) and their allegations, adding that while the NCB Mumbai said it (the controversy) was due to some political leader, today they are blaming Aryan for it.
He pointed out that Aryan Khan’s mobile phone was not seized and when the court asked the basis for the chats, Rohatgi said they were older chats and nothing to do with the cruise case.
He reiterated that Aryan Khan went there, had nothing on him, but was arrested, has not financed anybody for drug trafficking or cultivating drug plants or production.
Another lawyer for Aryan Khan, Amit Desai said that the NCB is roping in anybody and everybody under the “umbrella charge of conspiracy” and when Aryan Khan, Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha were arrested, they were not booked by the agency for conspiring.
As the matter went beyond the regular court hours, it will now continue further before Justice Sambre on Wednesday afternoon.