The NCB on Thursday opposed Aryan Khan’s bail plea in the Mumbai cruise drugs case, telling the court that he was a “regular consumer” of narcotics for a few years.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, arguing on behalf of NCB in front of a special NDPS court in Mumbai, arguing against the bail application of the son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, said Aryan had a “culpable mental state” and has been a “regular consumer” for the last few years.
Thursday’s hearing, which began at 1.30 pm, was adjourned for lunch. The court has resumed proceedings and more details are awaited.
As per The Times of India, Singh argued that the panchanama clearly establishes that Aryan was in conscious possession of contraband as he admitted that even though the charas was in possession of Arbaaz Merchant, both were going to smoke it on the cruise.
So, it may not be right to say he was not found in possession of any drugs. Both were in touch with peddler Aachit Kumar. He was also in touch with a foreign national. We are taking the assistance of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in this regard and have also written to our head of Department in Delhi, Singh argued.
The panchnama showed that 6 gm charas found from Arbaaz Merchant’s shoe, and WhatsApp chats suggested they were going to ‘have a blast’, stated Singh.
The ASG referred to Section 35 of the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act on presumption of a culpable mental state and said, “Once we have found drugs from Aryan or Arbaaz, then it has to be presumed that the drugs were found from them and the agency is correct.”
On the argument that the maximum punishment for Aryan Khan is one year, Singh said that if a connection is established between one accused and another, charged with a graver offence, the same punishment will apply for both, reported Live Law.
Events that led up to the hearing
Aryan Khan’s bail hearing is the third since his arrest almost two weeks ago.
He has been in a Mumbai jail since Friday, 8 October.
The NCB told a Mumbai sessions court on Wednesday that Aryan allegedly “indulged in illicit drug trafficking” and was involved in the “procuring and distribution of drugs”.
The defence on Wednesday argued that Aryan Khan had no cash on him to buy drugs, that no drugs were found on him, and finally, that he wasn’t even present during the cruise raid.
The NCB also said WhatsApp chats suggest that Aryan was in touch with a foreign national for procuring hard drugs in bulk and that it provides ground for proving conspiracy.
Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant were arrested on 2 October from on board the cruise ship Cordelia in a mid-sea drugs raid.