October 19, 2021

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In seeking bail for Aryan Khan, his lawyer praises NCB

In seeking bail for Aryan Khan, his lawyer praises NCB

Aryan Khan’s lawyer on Thursday put in a word of praise for the officials of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) as he sought bail for the eldest son of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, who was arrested after a raid on a cruise ship by the central agency on October 2. Senior counsel Amit Desai was responding to the NCB lawyer’s arguments in the special court under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The special NDPS court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing for a day on bail applications of Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, who were arrested along with Aryan Khan.

“There can be no doubt on the importance of a statute on the nation. There is no doubt that the world is fighting the drug menace. We got our freedom, we must protect it, and ensure the development of society,” senior counsel Amit Desai said in the court, according to Bar and Bench. “I don’t think there is any debate or doubt that the entire world is fighting drug menace… Kudos to the NCB for doing this job and just hope that they continue the investigation in a legal manner. I am appreciating that the officers are risking their lives for protecting their country,” Desai said.

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He said Aryan Khan can still be granted bail without affecting the ongoing investigation into the cruise ship drugs bust case. “As bail doesn’t take away their right to continue their investigation,” he said. He also alleged that the NCB may have crossed a legal line in an endeavour to convince the court to oppose Aryan Khan’s bail application.

“By no stretch of the imagination, the boy is involved in illicit drug trafficking or international drug trafficking. These allegations are fake. He has nothing to do with illicit drug trafficking,” he continued.

Also read | Aryan Khan regular consumer of drugs, says NCB; compares with Rhea-Showik case

On Wednesday, Desai called the NCB’s contention “inherently absurd” and argued that when there was no recovery of drugs from him, then he should not be penalised at the stage of granting bail. Desai also told the court that the accused in the case are young adults and not drug peddlers, traffickers or racketeers. “In many countries, these substances (drugs) are legal. Let us not penalise them at this stage when bail is sought. Let us not make it worse for them (accused). They have suffered enough and they have learnt their lesson, if at all,” he said.

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The central agency in its reply filed in the special court said that its investigation has revealed Aryan Khan’s role in illicit procurement and distribution of contraband. The NCB said that Aryan Khan used to procure drugs from Arbaz Khan. “It is also revealed in the investigation that accused number 1 (Aryan Khan) used to procure drugs from accused number 2 (Arbaz Khan) and people connected to Arbaz. Six gm of charas was removed from the accused number 2 from his shoes during the raid by NCB,” the NCB said in its reply.

Also read | Aryan Khan chatted about drugs in bulk quantity with a foreigner: NCB

“Accused numbers 1 and 2 are associated and worked in close collaborations so the offences are attracted against them especially section 29 of the NDPS Act ( Criminal Conspiracy to commit an offence),” the agency added in its reply.

Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3 following the NCB raid on the cruise ship and is currently in judicial custody. He is lodged at the Arthur Road prison in Mumbai. He approached the special court seeking bail after a magistrate’s court rejected his plea last week. As many as 20 people, including two Nigerian nationals, have been arrested so far in the case related to the seizure of drugs following a raid at a party on the Cordelia cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on October 2.

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