A court in Mumbai rejected the bail application of Aryan Khan, Arbaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha in connection with a drugs case. They were arrested after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raided a cruise ship and seized drugs last week.
Metropolitan Magistrate RM Nerlikar rejected the application saying it is not maintainable, which means the forum chosen to seek bail was incorrect.
While pleading his Khan’s bail, his lawyer Satish Maneshinde told the court that his client is from a respectable family, has roots in the society and won’t run away. Maneshinde also presented a number of past judgements while making a case for Aryan Khan’s bail.
He also contended the NCB’s suspicion that Aryan can tamper the evidence if released on bail. “Just because a person belongs to an affluent family, you can’t say he is likely to tamper evidence. There are people roaming streets with much more serious offences,” said Maneshinde. “I have never used my influence,” he added on behalf of Aryan Khan.
He also said that no drug was found from Aryan and that he was arrested just on the basis of WhatsApp chats.
Khan and others were sent to 14-day judicial custody by a Mumbai court on Thursday despite a plea from the NCB for a remand, which it said was needed to confront him with those being arrested in the case. They have been lodged in Mumbai Arthur Road Jail.
The 23-year-old was arrested along with Merchant, Dhamecha and others after an NCB raid on a cruise ship on October 2 from where the agency recovered drugs. They were detained after the raid last Saturday, and then arrested the next day.
Khan and others had filed bail applications immediately after a court verdict on Thursday, but on the request of additional solicitor general Anil Singh, to grant the agency time to react to the bail applications, the court posted the pleas for hearing on Friday.
All of them have been booked under section 8C, 20B, 27 read with 35 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985, after officers seized 13 gm of cocaine, 21 gm of charas (hasish), 22 pills of MDMA (ecstasy), 5 gm MD and cash worth ₹1.33 lakh from the 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 substance while Section 20B deals with punishment for producing, manufacturing, possessing, selling, purchasing, transportation, imports inter-State, exports inter-State or use of cannabis.
Meanwhile, NCB Mumbai Director Sameer Wankhede on Thursday said that a total of 18 people, including a Nigerian national, have been arrested in the case. The Nigerian national has been arrested with 40 tablets of Ecstasy, he further said.