Islamabad, Oct. 20, (Asia Free Press): The sessions court Judge VV Patil, who has been assigned special charges to hear Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) cases rejected the bail application filed by Aryan Khan-Bollywood celebrity’s Son and co-accused Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha on Wednesday, in the ‘Cordelia’ cruise ship drug case.
On October 7, Aryan Khan filed a bail application which was rejected, and he was sent to 14-day judicial custody.
What is the Mumbai Cruise Drug case?
Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), on October 3, raided and carried out searches on a luxury cruise liner that was to sail from Mumbai to Goa. NCB seized drugs and detained ten persons, including Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan’s Son. The accused have been booked under NDPS Act.
The cruise liner carried around 1000 passengers and was supposed to return to Mumbai on October 4. A party had been organised during the two-day trip for which the tickets were sold online. The consumption and distribution of drugs had been prohibited.
NCB had received a tip-off about the possession of contraband substances by some passengers on Goa-bound ‘Cordelia’ cruise ship. NCB Mumbai’s team of 20 officials boarded the cruise before it left Mumbai shores. The raids allegedly led to the recovery of drugs from Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha.
NCB statement said that Aryan Khan had no drugs in his possession, Merchant had 6 grams, and Dhamecha had 5 grams of ‘charas’, i.e. cannabis, on them.
The NDPS court, today in its 21-page bail order, reflects that WhatsApp chats of Aryan Khan, the prima facie revealed that he was indulged in illicit drug activities, and therefore it cannot be said that he was not likely to commit a similar offence if released on bail.
The legal experts, while criticising the order passed by the special judge, said the grounds on which the bail plea was denied are contrary to the criminal jurisprudence for granting bails.
The offences of purchase and consumption of charas in small quantities is susceptible to the punishment of a year’s imprisonment as per Section 20 (b) of NDPS ACT and six months’ imprisonment as per Section 27, NDPS Act, respectively.
The Code of Criminal Procedure for this low level of punishment under the Code of Criminal Procedure means that the offence of purchase and consumption of charas would be considered as bailable offences.
This should mean all three should get bail, Aryan Khan’s position indeed being stronger among the three alleged offenders.
Mixed response on Aryan’s bail plea rejection
Taking on to Twitter, the Indian film and television celebrities expressed their thoughts about the rejection of bail plea. “The travesty continues. The ordeal continues. Heartbreaking,” Bollywood director Hansal Mehta tweeted.
Bollywood actress Swara Bhasker tweeted, “Stunning abdication of law.. by those charged with upholding the rule of law!”
“They are doing their job. The probe agencies are investigating. The judiciary, in its wisdom, has granted custody. Why don’t we allow the judiciary to do its job?” said Rahul Narwekar, MLA & Spokesperson, Maharashtra BJP, to a local news channel, Republic news.
Meanwhile, the counsel representing Aryan filed an appeal before the Mumbai High court against the rejection order passed by the sessions court today. The case is expected for hearing before the Mumbai High Court Bench today.