New Delhi: After spending 20 days in jail, superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan has been granted bail in an alleged drugs case on a cruise party. The Bombay High Court on Thursday granted bail to all three accused in the case including Aryan Khan, Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha.
Here’s a detailed timeline of Aryan Khan case right from his arrest to bail in 20 days:
October 3: Aryan Khan was arrested by NCB in a cruise raid party.
October 4: During one of the first hearings in the Aryan Khan case, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) sought an extension of the star kid’s police custody till October 11. However, the court granted NCB custody of Aryan Khan and the others only till October 7.
October 7: The NCB again sought custody of Aryan till October 11. The court refused the demand and instead sent him to 14-day judicial custody. Aryan was shifted to Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail the next day. He was being held at the NCB office until then.
October 8: Aryan Khan moved the court for both interim and regular bail. The magistrate court, which was hearing the matter, rejected the bail application on grounds of it being ‘non-maintainable’ in that particular court.
October 11: A special NDPS court heard the bail plea and directed the NCB to file its reply by October 13.
October 13: The court adjourned the hearing for the next day after hearing arguments from both sides.
October 14: The special NDPS court judge reserved his order on Aryan Khan’s bail application. With courts shut for the weekend and other holidays, the next hearing was scheduled for October 20, meaning that Aryan would stay in jail at least until then.
October 20: In the afternoon, the special NDPS court rejected Aryan Khan’s bail application. Aryan’s lawyers said that they would go to the Bombay High Court in an appeal against the rejection of bail by the lower court. Aryan Khan continues to remain in prison.
October 21: Aryan Khan’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde, along with his team, went to the Bombay High Court. The court said it will hear Aryan Khan’s appeal on Tuesday, October 26.
October 24: The case took a new turn when independent witness Prabhakar Sail stated in a notarised affidavit that Rs 25 crore had been demanded on behalf of NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede for the release of Aryan Khan. Prabhakar Sail, the bodyguard to another witness KP Gosavi, also alleged that he was made to sign a blank panch nama. He said that KP Gosavi was the one who had made the Rs 25 crore demand on Sameer Wankhede’s behalf.
October 25: NCB deputy director-general Gyaneshwar Singh said an inquiry had been initiated to probe the allegations levelled against Sameer Wankhede.
October 26: The Bombay High Court began hearing Aryan Khan’s bail plea. The NCB opposed the plea while former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, along with others, argued in favour of bail for Aryan Khan. The hearing will resume at 2.30 pm on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a special NDPS court granted bail to two accused in the case.
October 28: The Bombay High Court on Thursday granted bail to Aryan Khan and co-accused Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha in the plea against rejection of their bail applications by a special NDPS court in the cruise ship drug bust case. The operative part of the order will be made available by tomorrow with reasoned order. The accused will not be released from jail tonight.
Arguments in favour of Aryan Khan bail:
>No drugs were recovered from him
>Alleged WhatsApp chats are unconnected to the current case
>Even if true, allegations pertain to ‘small quantity’ and ‘consumption’ only
>No criminal antecedents
>No likelihood of fleeing
NCB’s major arguments against his bail:
>Drugs recovered from Aryan’s friend Arbaaz Merchant (allegedly six grams of charas) were for both of them
>WhatsApp chats suggest ‘international drug trafficking
>Aryan Khan is involved in a conspiracy so the amount of drugs recovered is immaterial
>He is a regular consumer of contraband
>Release of any accused will hamper the investigation