Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant, and Munmun Dhamecha were apprehended by the NCB on Sunday after the raid on a Goa-bound cruise ship.
Aryan Khan, the son of famous Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan, Arbaaz Merchant, and Munmun Dhamecha have been arrested by The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). RM Nerlikar, the Additional Chief Metropolitan magistrate, expanded the NCB custody for them in light of the fact that the agency acquired a moderate amount of drugs from one of them, and Aryan Khan was accompanying them.
Nerlikar also stated that the investigation was at a preliminary stage. On Sunday, they were arrested by the NCB and produced before a special holiday court later. The court kept them in NCB custody till Monday. On Monday, the NCB sought further custody of Aryan Khan. The court has extended their custody till October 7.
Conversation Recovered From WhatsApp Chats
Implicating conversations were recovered from the WhatsApp chats of Aryan Khan, Dhamecha, and Merchant, which made the suspicions of NCB even stronger. Moreover, The NCB alleged that Aryan had discussed the mode of payment in the chat, apparently for procurement of drugs, and also added that various code names were used in the WhatsApp chats.
The NCB notified that the raids are being conducted now. Shocking and accusing material was recovered in WhatsApp chats of the accused mentioned above. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh declared that all the accused will be confronted and their international transactions will be investigated. He also added that the NCB has caught a major supplier from Juhu and recovered a commercial quantity of drugs from him.
Singh also told that even if the sections under which the above accused have been booked are bailable, the court has to keep in mind the goal of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) which is to eliminate the drug consumption and drug buying menace from the society, while hearing out remand applications or granting bail.
One cannot wish or have the excuse that just because he or she has been found with a small quantity, they are entitled to bail. Drug consumption has now become very common even for college students. The above accused are high-profile people who are considered role models and influencers by regular people, as told by the NCB counsel.
Lawyer’s Argument On Drug Case
The advocate of Aryan Khan, Mr. Satish Maneshinde contradicted the extension of custody sought by the NCB and argued that Aryan had no criminal precursors. Maneshinde also stated that drugs were not recovered from the possession of his client, who had also shown good conduct by not running away from NCB officers when the raid was being performed and allowed them to completely search him.
Maneshinde claimed that Aryan Khan and his friend Merchant were invited to the cruise and that he had not paid any money to get on it. Maneshinde said that nothing incriminating was found from Aryan Khan except his mobile phone chats while his friend (Merchant) was apprehended because he had six grams of charas, but that had nothing to do with Aryan Khan.
He also refuted the claims of NCB that Aryan Khan had taken drugs even when he was staying abroad. Maneshinde said that during the entire period of Aryan’s stay abroad, he hasn’t been involved in any kind of trafficking, supply, or consumption of drugs.
Ownership of up to 1kg of cannabis is termed as a “small quantity”, and an appropriation of over 20kg is deemed as a “commercial quantity” under the act. For charas or hashish, a minor quantity is up to 100gm while commercial quantity is 1kg or more under this act.
The NCB has claimed that it has acquired 13gm of cocaine, five grams of MDMA, 21gm of charas, 22 pills of ecstasy, and ₹133,000 cash after raiding the Goa-bound cruise. The NCB claimed in its remand note against the five others who were arrested on Sunday night that it acquired 2.5gm of ecstasy, 54.3gm of mephedrone (MD), and two grams of charas from them.
When Aryan’s Bail Plea Was Rejected
A court in Mumbai dismissed the bail application of Aryan Khan, Arbaz Merchant, and Munmun Dhamecha in the Goa cruise drugs case. They were apprehended after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) conducted a raid on a cruise ship and took hold of drugs last week. Metropolitan Magistrate RM Nerlikar dismissed the application saying that it is not maintainable, which means that the forum that was chosen to seek bail was incorrect.
While pleading for Aryan Khan’s bail, his lawyer Satish Maneshinde appealed to the court that his client is coming from a respectable family, has strong roots in the society, and won’t run away. Maneshinde also kept forward several past judgments while making a plea for Aryan Khan’s bail.
He also argued against the NCB’s suspicion that Aryan can tamper with the proof if released on bail. He said that just because someone belongs to an affluent family, you can’t accuse him of tampering with the evidence. He also added that people are roaming freely on the streets after committing much more serious crimes and offenses. He added that Aryan Khan has never taken advantage of his influence.
He also asserted that no drugs were found on Aryan and that he was arrested just on the rationale of WhatsApp chats.
Aryan and others had filed bail applications immediately after the court verdict that took place on Thursday, but on the proposal of Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh to give the agency time to react to the bail applications, the court postponed the hearing of pleas to Friday.
Khan, Merchant, and Dhamecha have been booked under section 8C, 20B, and 27 read with 35 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, after the officers got hold of 13 gm of cocaine, 21 gm of charas (hashish), 22 pills of MDMA (ecstasy), 5 gm MD and cash worth Rs 1.33 lakh from the goal cruise ship.
8C of NDPS Act refers to prohibition to produce, manufacture, possess, sell, purchase, transport, warehouse, use, consume, import inter-state, export inter-state, import into India, export from India, or tranship any narcotic drug or psychotropic substances, while Section 20B deals with punishment for producing, manufacturing, possessing, selling, purchasing, transporting, importing inter-state, exporting inter-state, or use of cannabis.
NCB Mumbai Director Sameer Wankhede on Thursday told that a total of 18 people, including a Nigerian national, have been arrested in the case. The Nigerian national has been apprehended with 40 tablets of Ecstasy, he said further.
Judicial Custody & Jail
Since the day they were arrested on October 3 – a day after their detention following the raid in the rave party aboard the Cordelia Cruise ship – they were kept by the NCB for six nights in lockup in the central agency’s custody in south Mumbai, after which they were taken into judicial custody on October 7 by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate R. M. Nerlikar.
A day after they were taken to judicial custody, Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood figure Shah Rukh Khan, and seven other co-accused in the rave party raids were sent to the Arthur Road Central Jail on October 8 (Friday). The two women who were accused – Munmun Dhamecha and Nupur Sarika – were taken to the Byculla Women’s Jail. Others who were accused, including Arbaaz Merchantt, Vikrant Chhoker, Ismet Singh, Mohawk Jaswal, and Gromit Chopra, were sent to the ARCJ, along with Aryan Khan.
They will stay in the respective jails till they are granted bail, even as their lawyers and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) advocates are immersed in a fierce legal battle over this.
23-year-old Aryan Khan was arrested along with Merchant, Dhamecha, and others after NCB raided the cruise ship they were in on October 2 from where the agency got hold of drugs. All of them were detained after the raid was conducted last Saturday, and then arrested the next day.
On Friday, the court rejected Aryan Khan’s plea for bail. Advocate Ashwini Achari who is in charge of advocating the second accused Arbaz Seth Merchant said that the court has rejected the application for bail for now because the application was not maintainable. Now they will shift to sessions court and file a plea for bail.
A total of 18 people, including a Nigerian national, were apprehended in the case related to the seizing of drugs following a rave party raid on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai. A team of NCB busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was making its way to Goa at mid-sea on the night of October 2.