No relief for Aryan, arguments on bail plea to continue Wednesday

26-10-2021

Mumbai, Oct 26 (UNI) No relief was granted by the Bombay High Court on Tuesday to Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan, who was arrested on October 3 in the Mumbai cruise drugs bust case.

A battery of lawyers appeared on behalf of Aryan Khan comprising former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, besides senior legal eagles Amit Desai, Satish Maneshinde and others.

Rohatgi opened defence's arguments and highlighted there was no recovery, no consumption or no medical test done so far in the past 24 days as far as Aryan Khan is concerned.

"Since there is no recovery or consumption, my client is wrongly arrested," Rohatgi said as he narrated to the court how the bail application traveled to the High Court.

Aryan Khan, and few others were nabbed during a raid on cruise ship Cordillia off the Mumbai coast on October 2. After he was arrested on October 3, Aryan made two bail applications in local, as well as in the special NDPS court, which were rejected on the ground by local court for having no juridiction and the special court saying his relase on bail may influence the witnesses and hamper the ongoing investigation.

Rohatgi also told the high court on Tuesday on behalf of his client: "What is put against me is that since I came with Arbaaz and apparently had knowledge of the contraband with him, I have conscious possession.

"Conscious possession is what is under my control and knowledge. If I am driving the car and something is in the car, there could be conscious possession.

"My case is that there is no conscious possession at all. What somebody else had in their shoe is not my concern. That cannot be my 'conscious possess'."

Rohatgi pointed out to the court a Supreme Court judgment last year in the "Toofan Singh" case which held that NDPS officers are also police officers and confessions given to them cannot be admitted in court.

Rohatgi also cited another judgment and said "In an old case involving a minister he was booked for harbouring a terrorist as a servant brought him into the house. The apex court said that cannot be a case."

"No case is made out by NCB either of consumption or of sale or purchase of drugs by Aryan," the former AG said.

He said that Aryan has not accused any Narcotics Control Bureau officials and he is not connected or concerned with any "panch or witness" referring to independent witness KP Gosavi and his bodyguard Parbhakar Sali, who are involved in the alleged transaction of big money to NCB zonal officer Sameer Wankhede.

"The Director of NCB on Monday said the affidavit was a result of some political leader. But today the unsavoury controversy is rebounding on me, they are putting it on me," Rohatgi told the court on behalf of Aryan.

"I don't want to sully my case by siding with either the political personality or the panchs. Because I am not connected to anyone," Rohatgi said.

Rohatgi said that the WhatsApp chats that NCB earlier mentioned against Aryan "have nothing to do with cruise party... The chats with the people were before the party. And the same cannot be used" against the star kid.

Rohatgi said: "Aryan Khan had gone there with Arbaaz. That's all. They are some boys..the law provides that for small quantities the maximum punishment is one year year and minimum is nothing."

He also read out Section 20b (ii) of NDPS Act to say that the legislative intent is clear. Maximum is 1 year and minimum is nothing. Rohatgi also said that Aryan has not financed anyone for drug trafficking.

Rohatgi's arguments were followed by advocate Amit Desai's address to the court on application of conspiracy against Aryan Khan and said that the only reason they came before the Bombay High Court is because of one observation. "That the rigors of Sec 37 of NDPS apply. It's because the prosecution opened up the umbrella of conspiracy to charge anybody and everybody."

He said the NCB is roping in anybody and everybody using an "umbrella charge of conspiracy and pointed out that at the time of arrest Aryan, other accused Arbaaz and Munmun were not booked for conspiracy and before being charged with conspiracy there has to be evidence of an agreement.

Upon which Justice Sambre asked him how much more time he would require to complete his arguments.

Desai said he will need 45 minutes more.

The court was then adjourned for hearing till 2.30 pm on Wednesday.

Desai told Assistant Solicitor General Anil Singh: Ek din ka bolke bayis le liya (22 days custody taken after saying that only one day was needed). Aryan is lodged in a special cell at the Arthur Road Jail and has met his parents separately once each so far.