Court to pronounce order on October 20
After the magistrates court found itself void of jurisdiction to decide the bail application in a non-bailable Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) investigation related drug case, Aryan Khan’s legal team had to move the sessions court on Monday, 11 October.
On that day, the Sessions Court of Judge VV Patil listed it for hearing on Wednesday, 13 October.
The hearing continued on Thursday and lasted more than six hours with both sides making passionate arguments fiercely advocating for their respective positions.
Whie Aryan’s team now has Senior advocate Amit Desai along with Satish Maneshinde, the NCB team is headed by another passionate legal mind of Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh.
The argument on behalf of Aryan Khan is that he was not found to be carrying any drugs on himself. That is the sole point his team has been making, vehemently arguing, that alone should be good enough basis for the court to grant him bail.
On the other side, the prosecution has argued on the basis of Aryan’s statement to the NCB that the drugs found on Aryan’s friend Arbaaz was meant to be for Arbaaz and Aryan.
In addition to that, Aryan’s phone’s WhatsApp chats have thrown light on some international names known for drugs and trafficking of drugs.
Also, since his arrest and examination of his chats, code words and other material, many more arrests have been made and seizures recorded.
Thus, argues the prosecution, his continuous interrogation and face-to-face confrontation with other accused kingpins of the drug trade is warranted.
Both side today put forward various judgements of the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court of India to support their case.
Opposing the grant of bail to Aryan, ASG Anil Singh said,
“The record in the panchnama signed by the applicant establishes that he was in conscious position of contraband because he admits it was with his friend and it was for consumption of both of them.”
Justifying the invocation of Section 37 (offences are non-bailable and cognizable) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 against Aryan and other accused.
“I have come with a case of conspiracy. In one case, if there are 15-20 people involved and it is a case of conspiracy, and possession with one accused, then 37 kicks in. And then stringent condition against grant of bail will apply.”
In response, on the WhatsApp chats recovered by NCB, on the basis of which it alluded to an international drug trafficking conspiracy, Aryan’s lawyer Amit Desai said,
“The language (in the chats) may seems like something different than what ought to be in a court of law. And those conversations may lead to suspicion, as it should. But what is important to be borne in mind is by no stretch of imagination is this boy involved in any kind of conversation of drug trafficking or internal drug trafficking.”
Summing up his case, Amit Desai said,
“The fundamental argument is that there was a rave party. I was not found with anything. I cannot be held responsible. There is nothing on the phone about the messages about rave party.”
He urged the Court to grant Khan bail, suggesting that strict conditions can be imposed on him.
Amit Desai has argued that the NCB’s allegation that Aryan Khan was involved in illicit trafficking of drugs in the cruise ship drug case, was inherently absurd.
Countering the argument ASG Anil Singh said that Aryan cannot escape liability just because no recovery was made from him. The ASG also referred to WhatsApp chats recovered from Aryan Khan which mention about commercial or bulk quantities and talks with a foreign national with reference to hard drugs.
“In a case of conspiracy, it is not necessary that with all the accused, commercial quantity is found or intermediate quantity is found,” he argued.
At one stage, the prosecution placed before the judge some specific portions of WhatsApp chats recovered from Aryan’s phone and submitted that they be not made public because of the gravity of leads in the ongoing investigation.
Also read: Aryan Khan may be granted bail today
“The judge was shocked”, according to a report of Capital TV and said he would require time to consider his decision.
Additional Sessions Judge VV Patil will pronounce the order on October 20.
Aryan Khan was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on October 2, 2021 after the NCB raided a cruise ship en route to Goa from Mumbai. Along with Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, Aryan was charged with offences under Section 8(c), 20(b), 27, 28, 29 and 35 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Initially remanded to NCB custody till October 4, which was extended till October 7, Aryan was remanded to judicial custody after which he immediately moved for bail. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate RM Nerlikar had rejected the bail application, holding that it was not maintainable as only he special court of sessions was entitled to hear the bail plea.
In light of the order, Aryan moved the special court under the NDPS Act seeking bail. So far, till October 20 when the judge will deliver his verdict, Aryan will have spent 18 days in custody.
Once moved out of NCB custody, Aryan was sent to Mumbai’s famous Arthur Road jail but due to COVID, was placed in the newly built Quarantine section. Yesterday, after the judge reserved his decision till October 20, Aryan was moved to a normal jail cell where he will be residing with 7 real life inmates.