Drug bust case: Aryan Khan's custody extended till October 7
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) today presented Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan, and eight others arrested in the Cordelia Cruises' Empress ship drug bust case on Saturday, before a court in Mumbai today. While Satish Maneshinde was representing Aryan, Additional Solicitor General of India Anil Singh was fighting on NCB's behalf. The court has extended Aryan's custody till October 7.
'Shocking incriminating material' recovered from Aryan's phone, says NCB
NCB sources mentioned that apart from Aryan, eight others will be produced before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate RM Nerlikar, who was presiding over the remand hearing. On their part, the agency has stated that "shocking incriminating material" was recovered from Aryan's phone "in the form of pictures." "Shocking incriminating material in WhatsApp shows international drug trafficking," said Singh in the court.
The international transactions need to be investigated, Singh in court
"There is investigation about the payment modes and the several codes which were used. All the accused need to be confronted. The international transactions need to be investigated," Singh pointed out, adding that the agency is seeking an extension of custody till October 11. He also mentioned that the offenses are all "non-bailable," and he has "three judgments of Bombay High Court" as proof.
Rhea Chakraborty's NCB case was brought up as reference
Notably, the Bombay HC judgments Singh is referring to include the NCB case that involves Rhea Chakraborty, who was arrested last September for consuming and procuring drugs. She was arrested after three days of questioning in relation to Sushant Singh Rajput's death case. Coming back to the drug bust, Singh added, "We have also raided this supplier and we have found commercial quantity."
'Recovery not necessary, there are no grounds for further custody'
Maneshinde, on his side, argued that his client should be given bail as the star kid was "not connected" to the seizures made by NCB in this case. "The provisions invoked are 8(c), 20(b), 27, etc. None of these are embargo for bail application under Section 37 of NDPS. Recovery is not necessary and there are no grounds for further custody (sic)," added Maneshinde.
What was Maneshinde's counter argument to Singh's HC order proof?
Upon hearing this, the Magistrate remarked, "The arguments seem like he (Maneshinde) is seeking police custody and also arguing for bail." Interestingly, to counter Singh's Bombay HC judgments, Maneshinde submitted Supreme Court orders that say, "WhatsApp chats cannot be used for incriminating an accused."
But, what is Section 20(b) of the NDPS Act?
In the fresh remand, Aryan is not facing Section 27A (NDPS Act) but is facing charges under Sections 8(c) and 20(b). Section 20(b) of the NDPS Act is applied when a person is found possessing cannabis. The punishment for this is rigorous jail term of one year that may get extended to 10 years. A fine of Rs. 10,000-1 lakh may also be levied.
Aryan's mother Gauri Khan had attended the hearing
Along with Aryan, others like Arbaaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Nupur Sarika, Ismeet Singh, Mohak Jaswal, Vikrant Chhoker, and Gomit Chopra were arrested after the drug bust. While his mother Gauri Khan attended the court hearing today, there has been no official statement from SRK yet.