He added that cannabis has been removed by many countries from the schedule of dangerous drugs. He even claimed that the 23-year-old son of SRK was not even on the cruise and was apprehended as he was going to attend the party. “In many countries, these substances (drugs) are legal. Let us not penalise them at this stage when bail is sought. Let us not make it worse for them (accused). They have suffered enough and they have learnt their lesson, if at all,” Desai said.
The NCB, while opposing the bail plea, said that Aryan Khan had been consuming drugs for a few years now and was in touch with some persons who appear to be a part of an international drug network for procurement of drugs. Further probe is on with regard to the financial transactions done abroad, the agency said. “During the initial investigation, some international linkages pertinent to this applicant (Aryan Khan) have been unearthed, which prima facie indicate towards illicit drug procurement. The investigation requires sufficient time so as to approach the concerned foreign agency,” the NCB said in its affidavit. Special Judge V V Patil, designated to hear matters related to the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, was on Wednesday hearing the bail plea filed by Aryan Khan.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the NCB, argued that even if one accused is released on bail, then the investigation would be hampered. He told the court that WhatsApp chats of the accused (Aryan Khan and Arbaaz Merchant) refers to bulk quantities of drugs and chats with a foreign national.
“The entire nation is concerned with drug trafficking and consumption of drugs is a serious offence. Day in and out, parties are organised and drugs are consumed by people including college students, Singh argued. He further opposed Aryan Khan’s argument that there has been no recovery from him and said Arbaaz Merchant first met Aryan Khan at his residence and then started for the cruise. “As per the NCB panchnama, the contraband (six grams of charas) found in Arbaaz’s possession was to be used for consumption. Aryan Khan knew of this possession and hence this would amount to conscious possession,” Singh said.
The NCB, in its affidavit, claimed that it was prima facie revealed that accused No 1 (Aryan Khan) used to procure contraband from accused No 2 (Arbaaz Merchant) and the sources connected to accused No 2, from whose conscious possession six grams of charas was recovered. It added that the case of each of the accused cannot be considered individually or separately as prima facie investigation reveals that there is a close link/nexus among all the accused including Aryan Khan for conspiracy to commit offences.
The court is also hearing bail pleas filed by Arbaaz Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Nupur Satija, Aachit Kumar, Mohak Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer and Avin Sahu.
Advocate Ali Kashif Khan Deshmukh, appearing for Dhamecha, argued that no case was made out against her and that she was a fashion model who was invited to the cruise. He said Dhamecha doesn’t know Aryan Khan or Arbaaz Merchant, but only that Aryan is a famous person. So far 20 persons have been arrested in the case.