Along with his co-accused duo Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, the Bombay High Court on Thursday granted bail to Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan in the cruise ship drug case.
Aryan Khan is the prime accused in the case which has dominated the air waves in India for more than three weeks, since October 2.
The application for bail was allowed by single-judge bench of Justice Nitin Sambre.
Justice Sambre has not delivered his reasons for the orders granting bail which will follow soon.
This case has seen more politics than judicial reasoning on the merits of the case. Most of the daily Indian Television debates were dominated by the politics of the case where the religion, caste and creed cards were played shamelessly by many.
Shah Rukh Khan has managed to have his son home for Diwali if they celebrate the festival. As a father, who had the money to hire all of India’s biggest lawyers, he threw in everything to secure bail for his son Aryan Khan.
India’s most expensive lawyers Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, Satish Maneshinde and Amit Desai led the defence argument in the Bombay High Court where success was finally seen – with bail being granted with strict conditions.
Full details are yet to come.
Leading the prosecution case, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh told the High Court that the case against the accused is not for consumption but for ‘conscious possession and plan to consume’.
He drew court’s attention to Section 29 of the NDPS Act which deals with conspiracy.
“Section 29 does not say that the person has to be in possession. He made an attempt to deal with commercial quantity,” the ASG said.
Highlighting the WhatsApp chats of Aryan, Anil Singh said that the subsequent recovery of drugs from eight co-accused corroborated what was stated in WhatsApp chats.
“It cannot be a coincidence that so many people on the cruise, 8 were found with drugs and there was multiple varieties,” the ASG said.
Mr Singh also submitted that the total quantity of drugs recovered is ‘commercial quantity’ under the NDPS Act.
Aryan’s lawyers contended that the arrest was illegal and charge of conspiracy was not present in arrest memo but was invoked later as an afterthought.
Mukul Rohatgi, representing Aryan Khan said there was no conspiracy.
Rohatgi had also said that Khan was not part of any conspiracy as alleged and the WhatsApp chats relied upon by NCB to allege conspiracy on Khan’s part were from a much earlier period.
The Whatsapp chats, they were of the time period of 2018. None of the chats are from the cruise. There is no case where those chats with “123” have anything to do with this saga. Those chats, we will have to see in trial, to be proved. The chats have nothing to do with the current scenario and therefore, to use general phrase like conspiracy is not right,” Mukul Rohatgi submitted.
Full reasons for the grant of bail will be made available on Friday, 29 October.