The Bombay high court will on Thursday continue hearing on the bail plea of Aryan Khan, who was arrested along with seven others after a raid by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai on October 2. The 23-year-old and two of his friends – Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha – moved the high court after his previous petitions were rejected by the sessions court and the special NDPS court.
The high court has been hearing Aryan Khan’s petition for the past two days. Aryan, the son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, is being represented by a batter of lawyers, including former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi.
On Wednesday, the lawyers of the accused told the high court that their arrest violated constitutional provisions, adding that NCB’s claims of international trafficking were “absurd and false”.
Senior advocate Amit Desai, who was representing Merchant, pointed out that in case of minor offences, the settled legal position was that arrest was permitted only in exceptional cases. “Bail is the rule and jail is exception, now arrest is the rule and bail is exception,” Desai said.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who made the bulk of his submissions for Aryan on Tuesday, argued that the arrest was a direct infringement of constitutional provisions as the arrest memo did not give the “true and correct grounds”.
All three have been charged under stringent sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
They have all been in custody for 23 days – through hearings, delays, and bail denials by two other courts.
Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3 in a raid led by NCB’s Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede who said that 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of mephedrone, 21 grams of Charas, 22 pills of MDMA (ecstasy), and ₹1.33 lakh in cash were recovered from the cruise ship Cordelia.