Aryan Khan bail: Mumbai court to pronounce order next week
A Mumbai court on Thursday reserved its order on the bail application of Aryan Khan, the son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, in connection with a drugs case. On October 2, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had apprehended Khan and others from a Mumbai-Goa party cruise. The order will be pronounced on October 20, as the judiciary will be on vacation from October 15-19.
Yesterday, Khan's lawyer made lengthy arguments in court
Special judge under the NDPS Act, VV Patil, heard the matter of Khan's bail. The NCB was represented by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh and Special Public Prosecutors Advait Sethna and AM Chimalker. Wednesday's hearing—where Khan's counsel Amit Desai had made lengthy arguments—had remained inconclusive. The bail order for Khan, and co-accused Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha, will be pronounced on October 20.
'Khan active part of illicit drug chain'
ASG Singh argued in the Mumbai Sessions court that prima facie offenses under the NDPS Act Sections 28 and 29 (conspiracy) are made out, and hence, bail can be barred under Section 37. Khan was "an active part of the illicit drug chain with other co-accused persons," it was argued, as the prosecution pointed to WhatsApp chats obtained from the accused.
Khan may tamper with evidence: NCB
Singh said Khan may tamper with evidence if granted bail. He said evidence on record showed Khan was a regular consumer, adding that the panchnama exposed the accused's intent to consume the 6 grams of hashish seized from Merchant's shoe. The ASG further argued that "innocent until proven guilty" does not apply in NDPS offenses, pointing to Section 35 of the NDPS Act.
'What NCB says is correct until proven otherwise'
ASG Singh argued in court, "Section 35 is a presumption of culpable mental state. Therefore, there is always a presumption that when a drug is found in possession of someone, then what the agency is saying is correct unless proven otherwise."
NCB references judgment against Showik Chakraborty in Sushant drugs case
Singh referred to the judgment in the case against Showik Chakraborty—the brother of Rhea Chakraborty—in the Sushant Singh Rajput drugs case. "The High Court held that even if there was no recovery, the accused were in touch with drug dealers, so bail cannot be granted," he said, "The argument was there was no recovery of contraband, but in our case, there is."
Here's what Khan's lawyer said
Desai argued that the young generation does not speak the Queen's English and has a very different way of communicating. Hence, the WhatsApp chats cannot be used to assign guilt. Further, Desai contended that presumption of guilt under Section 35 is applicable during trial, not during an investigation. On the Chakraborty case, Desai said Showik did not just consume but also dealt in drugs.
'Chat messages an extra-judicial confession, weak evidence'
Desai said, "Let him be a free man. Let strict conditions be imposed upon him. This is a fit case for bail. I have satisfied requirements under Section 37(2) and there are no antecedents." "The chat messages which they tried to suggest is evidence, is extra-judicial, is a confession, is a weak form of evidence," he added.