Aryan Khan’s WhatsApp chats, 2 others showed international drug trafficking: BCN in court | Bombay News
The Narcotics Control Bureau (BNC) has secured custody of Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, and two other defendants arrested for suspected drug abuse aboard a cruise ship until on Thursday. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate RM Nerlikar extended the BCN’s custody of the three people taking into account that the agency recovered an intermediate amount of drugs from one of them and that Aryan Khan was accompanying them. Nerlikar also took into consideration that the investigation was at a preliminary and crucial stage.
BCN arrested Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha on Sunday and brought them to a special holiday court later in the day. This court returned them to the custody of the NCB until Monday. BCN on Monday demanded re-detention of Aryan Khan, Merchant and Dhamecha until October 11, saying it must uncover the connection between consumers and drug suppliers and confront all arrested defendants with each other and apprehend other suppliers of narcotics. However, the court only extended their custody until October 7.
NCB points to Aryan Khan’s WhatsApp chat
BCN claimed in city court that “shocking and incriminating” material was recovered from Aryan Khan, Merchant and Dhamecha’s WhatsApp conversations, showing international drug trafficking. The BCN also claimed that Aryan Khan discussed payment methods for the purchase of drugs and that several code names were used. “The raids are underway now. Shocking and incriminating documents recovered from the accused’s WhatsApp conversations show international drug trafficking, ”said Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the NCB. “All the accused must be confronted with each other. International transactions must be investigated, ”he added as the BCN arrested a supplier to Juhu and found him a commercial quantity of the drug.
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Singh said that while the sections under which the defendants were convicted are dischargeable, the court must take into account the purpose of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), which is to eliminate the threat of company drugs, while investigating requests for pre-trial detention or granting bail. “You can’t say that just because he or she is found with a small amount, they are entitled to a bond. Nowadays, drug use has become very common, even kids who go to college use them. The defendants here are high profile people who are seen as role models by ordinary people, ”said the lawyer for the BCN.
“No criminal record”: Aryan Khan’s lawyer
Aryan Khan’s lawyer, Satish Maneshinde, opposed the extension of custody requested by the NCB and argued that his client had no criminal history. Maneshinde also claimed that no drugs were recovered from the possession of his client, who demonstrated good behavior by not fleeing from the BCN agents during the raid and allowing them to search him.
Maneshinde argued that Aryan Khan was invited to the cruise with his friend Merchant and that he did not pay any money to board the ship. “Nothing incriminating was recovered from Aryan Khan, except for his cell phone. His friend (Merchant) was arrested because he had six grams of charas, but that has nothing to do with my client, ”Maneshinde said.
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He also refuted BCN’s claims that Aryan Khan used drugs even while abroad. “During the entire period of his (Aryan) stay abroad, he was not involved in any drug trafficking, supply or distribution,” Maneshinde said.
Aryan Khan, Dhamecha and Merchant were registered under Sections 8 (c) (producing, manufacturing, possessing, selling or buying drugs), 20 (b) (punishment for cannabis contravention), 27 (punishment for consumption of narcotics or drugs) read with article 35 of the NDPS law. Possession of up to one kg is considered a “small amount” of cannabis and a seizure of more than 20 kg is considered a “commercial amount” under the law. For charas or hashish, a small amount can be up to 100g, while the commercial amount is 1kg or more by law. BCN said it seized 13 g of cocaine, five grams of MDMA, 21 g of charas and 22 ecstasy pills and ??133,000 in cash after attacking the cruise ship bound for Goa. BCN said in its referral note against the five other people arrested Sunday night that it seized 2.5g of ecstasy, 54.3g of mephedrone (R) and two grams of charas.
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Taraq Sayed, the lawyer representing Merchant, said there was no clarification on how much of the drug was allegedly recovered from each of the accused and that the BCN was requesting custody only on the basis of certain conversations retrieved on WhatsApp.
“The NCB’s footnote is misleading. If only six grams of charas were recovered from Merchant, why is he charged with the other drugs seized? The two boys (Aryan Khan and Merchant) were arrested only because they are prominent people, ”Sayed said.
The court was informed that five of the arrested defendants – Ishmeet Chadha, Mohak Jaiswal, Gomit Chopra and Vikrant Chhokar – had also been detained under section 27A of the NDPS Act. This article concerns the sanction of the financing of illicit traffic and the accommodation of offenders.
(With PTI inputs)