IN THE RECENT MUMBAI CRUISE DRUG BUST CASE, the NCB has arrested Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood celebrity Shah Rukh Khan. The FBI has also placed the other seven people detained in the case under custody after a 15-hour questioning. They were arrested under the NDPS (NDPS) Act, Section 27.
Following a high-profile drug party raid aboard the Cordelia cruise off the Mumbai coast on Saturday night, NCB arrested Aryan Khan and others. The detainees were taken to the NCB’s Mumbai office, where they were interrogated and arrested.
Mumbai cruise drug bust
In this case, the NCB Mumbai has filed a criminal complaint under the number Cr 94/21. Previously, NCB announced in a statement, “On 02.10.2021, NCB Mumbai officials raided the cruise ship Cordelia, which was set to sail from Mumbai to Goa, based on specific information. NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede and his squad allegedly boarded the ship as passengers, with the raids beginning in the middle of the sea. During the operation, NCB searched all suspects based on the information. Various substances have been discovered, including MDMA/Ecstasy, Cocaine, MD (Mephedrone), and charas. A total of 8 people, including two women, have been detained, and their role in the recovery is being examined. More research is being carried out.”
Why Was Aryan Khan Arrested Even Though No Drugs Were Found With Him?
Satish Maneshinde, Aryan Khan’s lawyer, who previously defended Rhea Chakraborty, has maintained that no drugs were found on his client. However, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) continues to seek his arrest. “They have said that they found 5 grams of charas from Arbaaz Merchant’s shoes,” Arbaaz’s lawyer told TOI, “but why is there a need for custody when they only found a small quantity?” he asked. “He has said that he was going to smoke that charas on the ship. What do they need to investigate about this clear and simple case of consumption?”
So why have the suspects been detained?
They’ve all been detained so that the NCB can look into any further connections, which suggests the agency was interested in getting to learn more about the drug dealers. Aryan’s allegation goes on to say, “They have downloaded my WhatsApp communications after additional interrogation. They allege that my discussions, while I was away, suggest international drug trafficking. I haven’t been involved in any kind of trafficking, supply, or distribution during my whole stay overseas “.
What does our law say about drug traffickers and consumers?
The NCB has also claimed in court that “incriminating material” was discovered in Aryan’s chat, which includes payment methods and various codes.
“He is not innocent simply because he was not discovered in possession. Investigations into international transactions are required. Although the person may not be found in possession of commercial quantities, custody is needed to determine the chain of links. Where does the money come from, who is the source? All of this needs to be discovered, “NCB’s Additional Solicitor General, Anil Singh, testified.
Bollywood stars tweet in support of Shah Rukh Khan and his son Aryan
Pooja Bhatt, an actress, rushed to Twitter to express her support for Shahrukh Khan and his Aryan. “I stand in solidarity with you @iamsrk. Not that you need it. But I do. This too shall pass.” On Twitter, singer Suchitra Krishnamoorthi expressed her support for the actor and his son, writing: “Nothing harder for a parent than seeing their child in distress. Prayers to all”. She continued, “This is the price one pays for fame,” adding, “For all those targeting #Bollywood remember all the #NCB raids on filmstars? Yes, nothing was found, and nothing was proved. #Bollywood gawking is a tamasha. It’s the price of fame.”
Netizens slam stars for their support
Soon after the celebrities came out in support, their fans and netizens slammed them on social media. As one of the users put it, ” You call 23 years old as a child; according to Indian law, he is an adult & this “child” knew very well what is lawful land as well. But still, he went on to do drugs….” One other commenter expressed similar thoughts, writing that nothing is more “shameful” for a parent than seeing his child imprisoned for anti-social behavior such as drugs. “nothing more shameful for parents whose kid gets arrested for anti-social activities like drugs, money doesn’t buy character nor can teach you values. So long this Elite Druggie class was untouchable, but now they get Busted and arrested.” A third commenter similarly criticised the Bollywood stars’ backing, writing, ” Pretty simple actually to avoid this: Don’t do such things which put you into distress !! Don’t blame the law for taking its own course as it’s similar for everyone except elites thinks and knows it’s not.”
Bail Granted to Aryan Khan
In its comprehensive ruling, the Bombay High Court granted bail to the Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan and his two other friends, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmum Dhamecha, stated in the cruise drugs case that there was no collaboration between them to commit drug-related offences. The trio was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) for violating the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Even though the court granted bail on October 28, the court issued a comprehensive order on Saturday.
Conditions of Bail
Aryan was not allowed to meet any of the co-accused, including his pal Arbaaz, as part of his bail conditions. He also had to submit his passport and report to NCB every week for weekly attendance. Since the case is still being investigated, the Bombay High Court put certain additional conditions to Aryan’s release order. Satish Maneshinde, Amit Desai, and Mukul Rohatgi defended Aryan at the Bombay High Court, and he was granted bail on October 30, 2021. Aryan was greeted by a sea of Shah Rukh and his family supporters after his release.
HERE ARE THE TOP FIVE POINTS THAT SHOW HOW THE COURT TORE THROUGH THE NCB ALLEGATIONS:
1. Charges of conspiracy:
The NCB based its case on conspiracy allegations, stating that the three conspired to attend a party organised aboard the cruise ship Cordelia and “have fun.” The narcotics enforcement agency lacked sufficient proof to back up these allegations. As a result, the court summarised that the trio did not conspire to commit offences related to drugs. “There is hardly any positive evidence on record to persuade this court that all of the accused persons conspired to commit unlawful acts with the same intent,” While dismissing the NCB’s contention that all of the accused’s cases should be evaluated together, the judge added.
2. NCB case built on WhatsApp chats:
According to the NCB, the accused conspired to attend the party through WhatsApp messages. The court, on the other hand, stated that there was nothing inappropriate and that “no meeting of minds” existed “.. “There is no evidence on record of the applicants having such a meeting of minds with the other accused, who were listed in the offence in issue, so as to infer the case of conspiracy against them as well.” “as stated in the order.
3. Possession and consumption of drugs:
Aside from WhatsApp exchanges, the CIA lacked adequate proof to back up its allegations against Aryan Khan. It was unable to demonstrate any drug use by him and did not conduct any tests to establish the contrary. The three were detained and charged with conspiracy, possession, sale, purchase, and illicit trafficking of controlled narcotics. Aryan Khan was not found to be in possession of any illegal substances, according to the court’s order, and this fact has not been disputed.
Merchant and Dhamecha were discovered in possession of illegal drugs in a tiny quantity. “In such cases, the court must first determine whether there is sufficient evidence on the record to prima facie infer that the applicants (Aryan Khan, Merchant, and Dhamecha) have hatched a conspiracy and that the prosecution was justified in invoking provisions of section 29 (criminal conspiracy) of the NDPS Act,” according to the order.
4. Aryan Khan’s confession:
ACCORDING TO THE COURT, they can only utilise the NCB’s recording of Aryan Khan’s confession under Section 67 of the NDPS Act for investigation reasons. Law cannot use it to draw an inference that the accused committed an NDPS Act violation.
5. Punishment for an offence committed:
The court also observed that the trio had previously been detained for about 25 days. The prosecution had failed to undertake a medical assessment to ascertain whether they had consumed narcotics. Even if the prosecution’s case is considered, the maximum sentence for such an offence is one year, according to Justice Nitin Sambre.
Aryan has been spending time at home after his release, according to the latest sources. According to a recent rumour, Shah Rukh has taken extra security steps for Aryan’s safety, leaving his bodyguard, Ravi Singh, with his kid. At the same time, he hires new security men for the shoot of his film Pathan.