Mumbai/Delhi: Bombay High court on Thursday granted bail to superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s 23-year-sold son Aryan Khan, more than 25 days after his arrest in seizure of banned drugs aboard a Goa-bound Cordelia cruise that has since become country’s high-profile case this year.
Justice NW Sambre ordered Khan’s bail, along with two other accused Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, even as India’s additional solicitor general (ASG) Anil Singh who was arguing for Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) told the court that actor’s son was found in “conscious possession” of drugs and showed the court his Whatsapp chats, accusing him of using bulk delivery.
Singh, on behalf of NCB, opposed the bail repeatedly telling the HC that Aryan was not new to drugs and that he was in touch with peddler. Aryan was arrested on October 2 following a raid by NCB.
Mukul Rohtagi, who was part of the battery of lawyers pressed into service by King Khan for his son, however countered NCB and told HC during arguments that “Aryan is a “young man” who should be sent to rehabilitation rather than jail. Also Read & Watch: Narcotics Sleuth Wankhede Reaches Delhi As Cong Says “Drugs Will Become Sugar” If SRK, Aryan Joined BJP; Probe Against Celebs, Own Men Will Be Neutral: NCB
“Our law provides that for small quantity, the punishment is imprisonment of one year. For consumption, there is rehabilitation as per law,” Rohtagi told the HC.
Legal fraternity was divided across India after NCB’s arrest memo note on Aryan’s arrest showed that drug law enforcement agency had seized 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of MD, 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA (Ecstasy) and ₹1.33 lakh in cash during the raid.
The case has triggered a political storm with National Congress Party (NCP) and Congress and Shiv Sena leaders of MVA government in Maharashtra accusing NCB of irregularities.
Rohtagi however for last two bail hearings said Aryan had no allegation against any NCB officer and had nothing to do with any political personality. Also read & Watch: Nawab Malik Shares ‘Nikahnama’ Picture Of Sameer Wankhede & Shabana Qureshi, Fight Gets Murkier
Separate accusations of extortions and presence of private independent witnesses — K Gosavi and Prabahkar Sail — have fueled another storm. In an affidavit on Sunday, Sail had alleged that he overheard Gosavi and one Sam D’Souza discussing a Rs25 crore pay-off to let Aryan walk scot free.
The affidavit had said that out of that, Rs 8 crore would go to NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede. Meanwhile, lawyers of Khan are still maintaining that drugs were found on him.
Speaking to media, Rohtagi, on behalf of Khan, said “ HC heard both the sides and granted bail.”
Asked when and if Aryan will come out of Arthur Road Jail, Rohtagi said, “Order is likely to come tomorrow and accused to be out of prison either tomorrow or on Saturday.”
The lawyers of Aryan had to approach the HC after a special NDPS court had sent him to judicial custody till October 30, making a tight case against all accused on the rave party.
HC had began hearing the bail petition of Aryan on October 26.
NCB has till date arrested 20 people in connection with the drugs case and also questioned Bollywood actor Ananya Panday, daughter of Chunky Pandey.