Taking note of the continuous rejections of the bail pleas of Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, many are considering a gross injustice and harassment. On Wednesday, a special NDPS court rejected his bail plea again.
“Six grams of charas was hidden in his friend Arbaaz Merchant’s shoe, and it seemed Aryan Khan knew about it, so it can be said that it was in conscious possession of both the accused,” the court noted.
Bollywood came in support of 23 year old Aryan Khan terming the whole case a witch hunt. It has been reported that neither was the accused in possession of the drugs nor was he intoxicated at the time of raid. All the allegations and different stories are raising everyone’s eyebrows over the whole case.
NCB Summoned Ananya Panday Today, Mobile And Laptop Seized
After social media was flooded with Shahrukh Khan’s videos and pictures after he went to meet his son Aryan Khan in Mumbai Arthura Road Jail, NCB visited Mannat and then raided Ananya Panday’s residence.
Ananya Panday was summoned by NCB featured in the WhatsApp chats of one of the accused in the Drugs on Cruise Case.
Lawyers Urges SC to Take Suo Moto Cognizance Citing Different Loopholes In The Case
The NDPS court’s order to deny bail to Aryan Khan was based on the Whatsapp chats only. Citing different loopholes in the case, lawyers have urged the top court to take suo moto cognizance of the case to protect the fundamental rights of the accused.
“No drugs found in possession of Aryan Khan. In any case, alleged offence is punishable with max 1 year jail. Yet no bail to him even after 2 weeks! Absurd! Seems that many judges have no idea of the right to personal liberty & the principles of bail,” tweeted senior advocate Prashant Bhushan.
“It is very unfortunate that the entire order of rejection of bail to Aryan seems to have been based on material which was nowhere in existence, when NCB, on Day 1 charged him with the “bailable offence” of consumption. They never alleged that he was part of a conspiracy with others for consumption. If a consumer buys a drug for consumption, he doesn’t verify the amount available with the seller, whether he is with a small or commercial quantity.
The reliance on WhatsApp chats also seems to be a subsequently trumped up and misconstrued and misinterpreted piece of evidence being relied upon by NCB, to only to prejudice the mind of the court, and to bring Aryan within the network of traffickers, so that he doesn’t get the advantage of being required to be treated separately as a consumer, which is the very objective of the NDPS Act while dealing with consumers,” said Rizwan Merchant, a senior lawyer of the Bombay HC.
He further added, Assuming without admitting that there is a reference to Aryan’s chat with another person discussing drugs, what evidence has NCB produced to suggest even remotely that the other person is a drug trafficker? Further assuming that the other side is a drug trafficker, what’s the evidence to suggest that the chat was for trafficking and not for consumption. The finding of the court that Aryan seems to be a regular consumer doesn’t exclude him from the category of ‘consumers’ and consequently entitled to be treated differently as provided in the statute, with the option of even being granted immunity from prosecution under 64A of the NDPS Act.”
“Bail Is A Rule, Jail Is An Exception”: Lower Court Violating Supreme Court Order
The SC has ruled that WhatsApp chats don’t have any evidential value. They can be used during the trial. But using WhatsApp chats in pre-trial incarceration goes against the order of the SC, so the lower courts are violating the order of the SC. It means that someone presumes allegiance to the NCB rather than the SC. That’s why I say that this is an act of judicial indiscipline and what is happening is alarming. The SC needs to take suo motu cognizance of this judicial indiscipline occurring in Mumbai,” said Isha Singh, another lawyer who is now an IPS officer.
“I personally think that Aryan had not consumed any drug that point in time, he was not in possession of any drug. The fact that somebody else was in possession of drugs does not make him liable. WhatsApp messages are no proof of dealing in drugs; in what circumstances these messages are written, to whom they are written can be looked at, but certainly this arrest onboard the vessel was, according to me, unholy and unjustified,” said Kapil Sibal, a senior lawyer from the Supreme Court and Rajya Sabha member.
It’s a judicial order. The only recourse is to set it aside, which can be done by a superior court. Some may like it, many may not, but as long as it’s on record, it will be treated as a precedent. And, I feel it must be challenged to set the record straight. WhatsApp chats, as held by the Supreme Court, have no evidential value,” Dr Sujay Kantawala, a senior lawyer.
“The hon’ble court should have considered Aryan’s bail on merit based on the probative evidence available, instead of taking it on sketchy assumption created by NCB. From the inception the boy has been made a target just because he is the son of Shah Rukh Khan. The prefatory investigation has not been fair as we are seeing. It’s a bailable offence that the department is trying to shape as non-bailable by giving the story of international link to the case. It’s most unfortunate that the matter has been given a political shape,” said Jaikush Hoon, a senior lawyer with the apex court.
Two days back, Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari filed a petition in the Supreme Court alleging that Aryan Khan is a victim of vendetta by an officer of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) whose wife failed to make it in the film industry.
“It is very relevant and painful to note that it’s incredible that someone remains inside (jail) for so many days without seizure of drugs or any other proof. No medical report of consumption, so no consumption,” Tiwari wrote in the petition.
Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have accused the Narcotics Control Bureau of targeting Shah Rukh Khan on orders from the Centre.
NCP leader and Minister in Maharashtra Cabinet, Nawab Malik on Saturday alleged, ” a total of 11 people were arrested from the cruise party. However, three people were let go. One of them is Rishab Sachdeva. He’s said to be a brother-in-law of BJP leader Mohit Bharatiya. Other two were Pratik Gaba and Amir Furniturewala.”
He also released a few videos and pictures showing that a local BJP leader and another history sheeter who is absconding in a cheating case in Pune were involved in the raid.
“The NCB raid is fake. Their target was Shah Rukh Khan. The raid is a conspiracy. The three who were let go had invited Aryan Khan. This is only a publicity stunt. This was a set up to defame,” alleged Malik.